Down East Seniors discuss demographics

Published 8:22 pm Friday, September 9, 2016

The Down East Seniors Club held its September 7 meeting at the Blind Center of North Carolina in Washington. President Ed Hamrick led the meeting. Charlie Mike Smith led the singing of “God Bless America” and Ed Bolen gave the invocation. Dick Paul provided humor.

Sam Price introduced member Gene Schwartz who spoke about demographics and fertility rates of major countries. Demographics is the collection of data on the people who live in a certain area. Asia has 60 percent of the world’s population, Africa has 15 percent, Europe has 11.4 percent, North America has 7.6 percent, South America has 5.6 percent and Australia/Oceana has 0.4 percent. The larger the population the more resources are required to support it. Fertility rate is the average number of children that would be born to a woman over her lifetime if she were to survive to the end of her reproductive life. A fertility rate of 2.1 is considered necessary to keep the population even. The US has a fertility rate of 1.9. This would result in a shrinking population were it not for immigrants. Fertility rates in other areas are Europe 1.6, Russia 1.75, China 1.2, Middle East 7.3, India 2.4, Japan 1.4 and Africa 4.7. Most of the immigrants to Europe are Muslim. Russia and Japan have very little immigration. China and India do not need immigrants because of their large populations. The Middle East can support the high fertility rate as long as their oil income lasts. The high fertility rate in Africa, especially in Central Africa, is causing problems that won’t improve until the culture changes to allow women to be empowered.

Charlie Mike Smith won the 50/50 drawing.