Demographics: Will the Portuguese be extinct by 2204? – VoxEurop (English)

Portugal is being emptied of its population. Its people are getting older, the birth rate is falling and immigration is receding. And that’s without the added pressure of the crisis which is pushing young graduates to seek a better future abroad.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://voxeurop.eu/en/content/article/2364411-will-portuguese-be-extinct-2204

In Nederland we have been having the same discussion for quite a few years already. To most of the Dutch it is clear that they cannot persist as an independent individual cultural identity for ever. They are hugely outnumbered on all sides, and feel their language will eventually be given up by a younger generation. The population’s negative growth ratio due to falling, and indeed very low birthrates, has been going on for decades. And although the migration rate, which was very high from the fifties through to the seventies, is no longer rising, people in general are not optimistic about their long-term future.

“This is not a problem due to the [austerity] programme imposed by the Troika [European Commission, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank].”

No, it’s just made worse. In Greece it’s the same by the way.

Still, don’t get depressed. Deserts are very competitive. A cactus, especially, is a very competitive and energy-efficient creature, it needs so little water to thrive.

Europe survived the barbarian invasions, the Inquisition, the plague, the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake, religious wars, two world wars, etc. This time is different. It won’t survive the neoliberals.

With the author carefully listing all the facts and the timing of the demographic crisis, with some cogent links between birth fall, (youth)emigration, unemployment and so on, and finally saying that " This is not a problem due to the [austerity] programme imposed by the Troika [European Commission, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank ", what can I imagine ? Maybe it’s those bloody extraterrestrials spreading poisoned rays into portuguese sperms and ovocytes…Meus amigos Lx21 e NunoD, cuidadinhos!

Quite a few years ago I visited Portugal to trek the Estrela mountains. I lived the society of the Portuguese interior and to my concern it seemed as though all the population of the interior were leaving. One of the village schools had only two children to educate and they were due to migrate to the coast where employment was available. Houses were abandoned and the able bodied villagers were bound for the coastal areas. It would seem that the interior workplace was basically agricultural and somewhat lacking in modern techniques so all were leaving for where the wok existed; tourism! Now that it decreasing I have to admit that the Portuguese people have a real problem.

Don’t worry Nuno, apparently it’s not going to happen until 2204 so I suspect you won’t be around to see it!

Seriously though, from reading the article it seems the overall fall in population is only in the last couple of years. So it’s a bit premature for predictions of doom. As you say, your remarkable nation has experienced much more dramatic events than the latest difficulties and come through it.

Thank goodness no-one this time has arrived to say that either it does not matter because everything will be taken care of by ‘more technology’. Or that it is a good thing because more Europeans ‘will destroy the environment’.

Our current crisis is nothing compared to what will follow. Italy, Spain and Germany seem to be sleep-walking into an age of exceptional ageing - alzheimic lands where almost everyone is old and demands care and massive taxes from a tiny working population. The German population and GDP will become smaller than the French and British ones in our own lifetimes according to several projections. Italy is expected to lose 20 million citizens by 2050 based on its 1980s peak population. The worst place is thankfully not an EU problem: Russia’s decline will be horrific, and added to that is they have a much sicker population and inward minimal immigration and a very badly diversified mineral economy. I really would NOT wish to be a Russian baby this week (if, indeed, one exists!).

I think the Germans imagine that they will be able to trade and innovate their way out of this population bomb - and perhaps they will to some extent, in that they might make life a little less catastrophic than the projections paint - but make no mistake about it, these declining populations are very definitely a problem. Think of culture and ideas! Who wants to live in a country where the default way to be is old? While I hope to have a nice old age with fun and family around me - God, I would hate to inflict the culture of old-age on my own society, and I would fear being part of an ocean of relatively healthy pensioners in a youth-less land. France, UK and Sweden are the only places going in the right direction. It is almost too late for some of the others.

João Silvestre: “Will the Portuguese be extinct by 2204?”

Heheheheh.

What I have to read because I have put my glasses!

Hi aditec! I don’t know about France, aditec, but here there has been an enormous upswing in the birthrate of white, indigenous Brits as well as immigration. The government publishes the birth-rate of every district in the country: ironically some very affluent areas with almost no ethnic minorities show the biggest increases, larger than certain parts of, say, Leeds, which have enormous ethnic populations. While immigration is responsible for some of the birth-rate, that is by no means all that is happening. To be simplistic and crude, white Brits are having far more babies than white Germans. It is VISIBLY noticeable here when compared to how it was in the 1990s, or compared to low fertility countries. You see more pregnant women, you see more parents pushing strollers, and our primary schools are having to expand fast to cope with the extra kids. I emphasise that this is happening in all communities. My home-town is about 97% white English- two new primary schools must be built.

You are way too optimistic. I admire Germany in many ways, but the population crisis will be a difficult for you. You talk like some Italians I know. You won’t think your way out of this one. A tiny youth, a small 20s-40s and a massive old-age population will be a nightmare. And even if it were not economically problematic, it’s going to be culturally limiting and will radically change the atmosphere of Germany. They should put Viagra in the drinking water!

I am glad you have done your duty, aditec! :slight_smile:

Hi Tommy! That’s very interesting. Why do you think the British and the French are contradicting a trend that seems to be continental? Or should I say in the Northern Hemisphere (at least the Russians and the Japonese have the same or even worse problems)? Because I think in Portugal “this way towards extinction” has nothing to do with this crisis. It’s a long-run trend (at least since the late 80’s), and it is a consequence of deep social changes – more women working, much more young people studying, couples get married/have their first child at 30 years old, or even later, etc. I believe the British or the French are not that different from the other Europeans in these issues, are they?

Hi! I don’t think we know for sure, Nuno. We can only speculate. You are right. All of us started to experience a falling birth-rate in the 1970s and 1980s. By the 1990s, we were all pretty much in the same boat. For some reason, the French (first) and then the British and Swedish birth-rates began to increase. There are no definite, agreed reasons for either the fall or the rise of these countries. Immigration is certainly one factor in the UK and French cases. But this is by no means the whole story. First, more or less every country has experienced higher immigration in the last 30 years. secondly, as mentioned before, the birth-rate among British-born women of all classes and communities has risen sharply too. This is despite very high numbers of women in work. Like in other countries, British women have tended to have children much later - I think 29 or 30 is now the average maternal age for the first child. The difference is that British and French women then go on to have more kids. I know Italian psychologists, sociologists and media have identified an ‘eternal adolescence’ among Italians - where people just want to remain single and have fun - but I am not sure that can be the main reason.

France, UK and Sweden are the only places going in the right direction. It is almost too late for some of the other

Mein lieber Freund! Du läutest schon vorschnell die Totenglocke. Die Alterung der Gesellschaft betrifft alle fortgeschrittenen Gesellschaften. Die britische und französische machen da keine Ausnahmen. Der Bevölkerungszuwachs ist hauptsächlich Migranten aus muslimischen und afrikanischen Ländern zuzuschreiben. Diese Entwicklung führt - übertrieben gesagt - zu einem England ohne Engländer und zu einem Frankreich ohne Franzosen. Die Staatsangehörigkeit ist nur ein Etikett. Deutschland hat in seiner Geschichte schon viele Katastrophen durchlebt. Allein durch den Dreißigjährigen Krieg ist ein Viertel bis ein Drittel der deutschen Bevölkerung getötet worden. Die beiden Weltkriege haben ebenfalls Millionen Kriegstote gekostet. Und Deutschland besteht immer noch. Außerdem ist Masse nicht unbedingt Qualität. Ich jedenfalls habe meine demografische Pflicht übererfüllt. Und ich verrate dir ein Geheimnis: Mir hat es ausgesprochen gut gefallen. :wink:

They should put Viagra in the drinking water

Bitte nicht! Ich will ja auch noch auf andere Gedanken kommen! :slight_smile:

Wie wäre es wenn wir den Barroso zum Kinderzeugen nach Hause schicken? Oder ist der im Bett auch ein Prahlhans ohne Leistung?

Wie wäre es wenn wir den Barroso zum Kinderzeugen nach Hause schicken? Oder ist der im Bett auch ein Prahlhans ohne Leistung?

Hey donkey Ich habe eine bessere Idee. Ich stelle mich dieser verantwortungsvollen Aufgabe zum Wohle der demografischen Erhaltung Europas gerne zur Verfügung. Ich kann beste Referenzen vorlegen und gute Erfolge nachweisen. Außerdem würde ich diese Aufgabe nicht nur aus Pflichtgefühl, sondern aus vollem Herzen erfüllen. Ich würde auch nur die Hälfte des Gehaltes von Barroso beanspruchen. Sag’ es bitte weiter. >:-)

Dear friends, don’t worry about us! We have already survived to many terrible things throughout our history. Dimokratia mentioned the Great Earthquake of 1755, when our capital city, then the 4th biggest city in Europe, was wiped off the map in just a couple of hours. I’ve had many other demographic crisis. In the 17th and 18th centuries, this small country built and populated a colossus nowadays called Brazil. Entire regions of Portugal were almost left empty. We’re still here and I’m sure we will be here for many more years and centuries. We’re just waiting for the end of this mess to start producing children again. Trust me, nobody will beat us! :wink:

By the way, so many interesting things happenning in Portugal, and you’re worried about our extinction… I thought you were going to talk about the disagreements between the troika’s members about the Portuguese situation (IMF vs. Brussels-Frankfurt) - now they are already disagreeing outside the meeting rooms, in the press and other media. Believe me, it’s priceless! I also thought you were going to talk about the remarkable achievement of our external accounts: this year, for the first time since 1943 (I repeat: 1943, World War II), we will have a trade surplus. And next year we will have a surplus in our external balance.

Don’t worry about our demographics. The reports of our extinction are greatly exaggerated!

Maybe it's those bloody extraterrestrials spreading poisoned rays into portuguese sperms and ovocytes...Meus amigos Lx21 e NunoD, cuidadinhos!

Eheheh… We’d better call Scully and Mulder. They’re in the troika. I’ve always suspected about that bald guy from the ECB.

João Silvestre: "Will the Portuguese be extinct by 2204?" Heheheheh. What I have to read because I have put my glasses!

We’re the new Iberian lynx, Jose. :slight_smile:

I don't know about France, aditec, but here there has been an enormous upswing in the birthrate of white, indigenous Brits as well as immigration.

Hi Tommy! That’s very interesting. Why do you think the British and the French are contradicting a trend that seems to be continental? Or should I say in the Northern Hemisphere (at least the Russians and the Japonese have the same or even worse problems)? Because I think in Portugal “this way towards extinction” has nothing to do with this crisis. It’s a long-run trend (at least since the late 80’s), and it is a consequence of deep social changes - more women working, much more young people studying, couples get married/have their first child at 30 years old, or even later, etc. I believe the British or the French are not that different from the other Europeans in these issues, are they?

Cette tendance est sans doute directement corrélée à l’évolution de l’économie: la population devrait se remettre à croitre lorsque la croissance reviendra.

J’imagine que la même chose est observée cette année dans les autres pays du sud de l’Europe.