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Demographics Can Shape the World and Contribute to Conflicts

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Policymakers, leaders, and corporate heads need to look at the world through a “population lens,” according to Dr. Jennifer Sciubba, an international expert on political demography and demographic security.

Sciubba is an author, associate professor at Rhodes College and a Global Fellow at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C.

Her latest book, is “8 Billion and Counting: How Sex, Death, and Migration Shape the World.” In it, she differentiates between the 20th Century which was a century of population growth and the 21st Century which is a century of differential growth.

She claims in the first two decades of this century we have a rising differential in populations with undeveloped countries with poorer populations growing much faster than aging developed countries.

Sciubba states that 98 percent of the world’s population growth is now centered in underdeveloped countries causing an even greater disparity between the economic haves and have-nots of the world.

She thinks leaders should view these growth differentials not only as potential problems but as potential opportunities.

Sciubba also talks about the impact of mass migrations of populations. She cites the current example of millions of refugees fleeing Ukraine. This, she forecasts, will have a major impact on Ukraine and neighboring nations for generations to come.

She also thinks that some demographers misread the true threat of Russia by previously characterizing it as an aging country with high male death rates and therefore a weakened former power.

This translated, according to Sciubba, in the United States and other world powers underestimating the war capabilities and the aggression of Russia.