Volume 25 - Article 13 | Pages 437–464  

Who fears and who welcomes population decline?

By Hendrik P. van Dalen, Kène Henkens

Abstract

European countries are experiencing population decline and the tacit assumption in most analyses is that the decline may have detrimental welfare effects. In this paper we use a survey among the population in the Netherlands to discover whether population decline is always met with fear. A number of results stand out: population size preferences differ by geographic proximity: at a global level the majority of respondents favors a (global) population decline, but closer to home one supports a stationary population. Population decline is clearly not always met with fear: 31 percent would like the population to decline at the national level and they generally perceive decline to be accompanied by immaterial welfare gains (improvement environment) as well as material welfare losses (tax increases, economic stagnation). In addition to these driving forces it appears that the attitude towards immigrants is a very strong determinant at all geographical levels: immigrants seem to be a stronger fear factor than population decline.

Author's Affiliation

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

Migrating to a new country in late life: A review of the literature on international retirement migration
Volume 48 - Article 9

What is on a Demographer’s Mind? : A Worldwide Survey
Volume 26 - Article 16

How do employers cope with an ageing workforce?: Views from employers and employees
Volume 22 - Article 32

Most recent similar articles in Demographic Research

Cohort fertility of immigrants to Israel from the former Soviet Union
Volume 50 - Article 13    | Keywords: age at first birth, assimilation, cohort analysis, fertility, immigration, parity, religiosity

Does the fulfillment of contraceptive method preferences affect contraceptive continuation? Evidence from urban Kenya, Nigeria, and Senegal
Volume 50 - Article 5    | Keywords: contraceptive discontinuation, contraceptive dynamics, contraceptive preferences, contraceptive use, family planning, patient-centered approach, preferences

Reducing uncertainty in Delphi surveys: A case study on immigration to the EU
Volume 49 - Article 36    | Keywords: European Union, immigration, international migration, migration flows

Geographic proximity to siblings in older adulthood
Volume 49 - Article 7    | Keywords: geographical proximity, older adults, population, register data, Sweden

World population aging as a function of period demographic conditions
Volume 48 - Article 13    | Keywords: aging, demographic transition, population