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Yes, the CIA Factbook is usually APPROXIMATELY correct, but sometimes it isn't up to date or is simply way off, like net migration rates for a number of countries just to take one example. Population reference bureau is reliable, they use up-to-date data from national statistical agencies or where it isn't available; estimates by experts: http://www.prb.org/pdf06/06WorldDataSheet.pdf
Is The Philippines really that overpopulated? The Phillippines has almost 87 million people on 300 000 sq km, where ca.30% is arable. South Korea has 49 million people on less than a third of the area of the Philippines, where 19% is arable. Which country is the most overpopulated and which country is the richest? You tell me.
In African countries, they have huge areas with plenty of natural resources and low population densities, yet they are the poorest countries in the world. Are they overpopulated? Being rich or poor is not about having lots of natural resources per person. In the old days, people used to think like this. In today's modern market economy, it is the people, human capital, who is the resource.
When it comes to aging problem and retirement age. Very well, as the rapid aging continues, the countries worst affected would need to increase the retirement age substantially, while old people in countries with replacement rate fertility have the luxury to retire earlier if they want to. But even if you ban the retirement age altogether, forcing everybody to work until they lie in their grave, mother nature is still present. Imagine the amount of old peple with lung diseases in China in the future, with their horrible smoking habit and bad air quality. Old people get fragile and severe illnesses, they can't work as fast or as much as young people and it is more difficult to teach an old dog new tricks, they are also less entrepreneurial and risk-takers, which is vital in today's fast-paced modern economy. It is no coincidence that people have a harder time finding a new job when they're in their 50s or 60s.
Furthermore, China's labor force is largely based on manual labor, industry etc, which is not very good for old people compared to a private office job in the service sector. In this respect, old people in Japan, with an economy based on the service sector, will have a better time as they also have education for it. Another problem with an old population is of course that old people generally are savers and not consumers, not in line with the shift in China's economic structure. We see it very much in Japan today.
[ Last edited by uligen at 2007-3-3 09:31 AM ]