The fifth horseman of the apocalypse

I enjoy books that help me see the world through different eyes. Here's an opening paragraph from Goldman's new book that did just that.

Population decline is the elephant in the world’s living room. As a matter of arithmetic, we know that the social life of most developed countries will break down within two generations. Two out of three Italians and three of four Japanese will be elderly dependents by 2050. If present fertility rates hold, the number of Germans will fall by 98 percent over the next two centuries. No pension and health care system can support such an inverted population pyramid. Nor is the problem limited to the industrial nations. Fertility is falling at even faster rates—indeed, at rates never before registered anywhere—in the Muslim world. The world’s population will fall by as much as a fifth between the middle and the end of the twenty-first century, by far the worst decline in human history.

The surprise is not the declining birthrate in the West—the US is an exception—but that it is matched by the decline in Islamic societies from Morocco to Iran.

"How Civilizations Die: (And Why Islam Is Dying Too)" (David Goldman)