Volume 25 - Article 13 | Pages 437–464

Who fears and who welcomes population decline?

By Hendrik P. Van Dalen, Kène Henkens

Print this page  Facebook  Twitter

 

 
Date received:17 Feb 2011
Date published:12 Aug 2011
Word count:6701
Keywords:externalities, immigration, population, population decline, population policy, preferences
DOI:10.4054/DemRes.2011.25.13
 

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

Hendrik P. Van Dalen - Nederlands Interdisciplinair Demografisch Instituut (NIDI), Netherlands [Email]
Kène Henkens - Nederlands Interdisciplinair Demografisch Instituut (NIDI), Netherlands [Email]

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

» 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

» The direct and indirect impact of international migration on the population ageing process: A formal analysis and its application to Poland
Volume 38 - Article 43    | Keywords: immigration

» Gender differences in educational adaptation of immigrant-origin youth in the United States
Volume 38 - Article 39    | Keywords: immigration

» Navigating between two cultures: Immigrants' gender attitudes toward working women
Volume 38 - Article 35    | Keywords: immigration

» Uninsured migrants: Health insurance coverage and access to care among Mexican return migrants
Volume 38 - Article 17    | Keywords: immigration

» Marriage in an immigrant society: Education and the transition to first marriage in Hong Kong
Volume 37 - Article 18    | Keywords: immigration