Despite the worries of American "declinists," the future will not be post-American, but merely post-Caucasian. And that's a future to which America will readily adapt itself. Indeed, as global integration proceeds, America's centuries-long experiment in e pluribus unum ("out of many, one"), which already marked us as a national progenitor of modern-day globalization, will continue to be our greatest strength.

The New Rules: America's Demographic Edge in 'Post-American' World

By , , Column

A growing population had long been considered a prime determinant of national strength -- at least until the "population bomb" crowd commandeered the dialogue almost a half-century ago and declared such growth to be a threat to human existence. But since then, with globalization's rapid expansion encompassing the bulk of the developing world -- and specifically demographic behemoths India and China -- we've seen industrialization and urbanization work their usual magic on female fertility. As a result, humanity is now projected to top out as a species sometime mid-century and likely decline thereafter.

To the amazement of many from my generation, who grew up in real fear of "Soylent Green"-type scenarios of over-population, our primary demographic challenge going forward is to maintain a decent worker-to-retiree ratio as national populations age at an unprecedented speed -- with the "world-conquering" Chinese leading the way. Compared to both the "old" West and most of the rising East, America stands apart in its ability to remain fertile with a birth rate 50 percent higher than Germany, Russia and Japan, and well above China, the leading Asian "tigers" and Eastern Europe. Add in our world-class capacity to integrate immigrants -- we attract roughly half the developing world's flow to developed states -- and we're more than just an odd outlier. ...

To read the rest, sign up to try World Politics Review

Free Trial

Sign up for two weeks of free access with your credit card. Cancel any time during the free trial and you will be charged nothing.



Request a free trial for your office or school. Everyone at a given site can get access through our institutional subscriptions.

request trial


Already a member? Click the button below to login.