Bitter Warming of Massive Demographic Problems Ahead for European Immigration

Bitter Warming of Massive Demographic Problems Ahead for European Immigration, by Jeremy Grantham. Grantham is regarded as a highly knowledgeable investor in various stock, bond, and commodity markets, and was one of the world’s largest fund managers.

The truth about immigration to the EU, in my view, is bitter. As covered in earlier quarterlies, I believe Africa and parts of the Near East are beginning to fail as civilized states.

They are failing under the pressure of populations that have multiplied by 5 to 10 times since I was born; climate for growing food that is deteriorating at an accelerating rate; degraded soils; insufficient unpolluted water; bad governance; and lack of infrastructure. Country after country is tilting into rolling failure.

This is producing in these failing states increasing numbers of desperate people, mainly young men, willing to risk money and their lives to attempt an entry into the EU.

For the best example of the non-compute intractability of this problem, consider Nigeria. It had 21 million people when I was born and now has 187 million. In a recent poll, 40% of Nigerians (75 million) said they would like to emigrate, mostly to the U.K. (population 64 million). Difficult. But the official UN estimate for Nigeria’s population in 2100 is over 800 million! (They still have a fertility rate of six children per woman.) Without discussing the likelihood of ever reaching 800 million, I suspect you will understand the problem at hand. Impossible.

I wrote two years ago that this immigration pressure would stress Europe and that the first victim would be Western Europe’s liberal traditions. Well, this is happening in real time as they say, far faster than I expected. It will only get worse as hundreds of thousands of refugees become millions.