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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

What to Expect When No One's Expecting: America's Coming Demographic Disaster, by Jonathan V. Last

This is another must-read book about demography. People simply aren't having enough children, and, as a result, a disaster of unimaginable scope and extent is just around the corner. Already in Japan more adult diapers are sold than baby diapers. Nearly every country in the world is headed for a population implosion, and along the way nations will have a population that resembles an inverted pyramid, with the oldest ages forming the largest groups of people.

This book had enough numbers to glaze my non-mathematically-inclined eyes over a bit, but the thrust of the book is clear, the numbers are there and documented for those who do like to read such things, and the message of the book is sobering.

I would recommend this book to any reader who is concerned about the current state of the world, or even just of the U.S., or who is concerned about the likely future of the world or the U.S. I think, on the whole, Philip Longman's book The Empty Cradle is the better and easier read, so if you only read one on the current demographic situation around the world, read that one, but if you can afford the time to read two, do read both. But the most important recent book about demography is How Civilizations Die, by David Goldman, so if you truly can read only one, read that one.


  1. Ooh, I am going to look for this next time I am at the bookstore! And maybe those others, too.

  2. I read this book this past weekend. I found it more depressing than anything I have read in a long time. I mean, war and carnage are terrible but not new. The fact that so many people don't desire children makes me very very sad.