A new report from the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs concludes that the number of elderly people worldwide will outnumber children for the first time in 2045, forecasting the start of a "demographic winter" some experts say could constitute the biggest international crisis in the coming century.
A motion put forward at the Irish Medical Organisation AGM in Killarney which called for Irish Aid to address population growth through "family planning education" for women in the countries it supports, was rejected amid claims that it was "racist and arrogant". This motion was proposed by the NCHD Committee chairman, Dr Mark Murphy, who called for Irish Aid to focus on "strategies to address this specific problem in the priority nations we directly fund," which he later explained would concentrate on "reducing birthrates through better education initiatives for women."
A leading British political scientist has predicted the reversal of secularism around mid-century simply because religious people are more likely to marry and have more children than non-believers. In his new Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth? Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century book political sociologist Eric Kaufmann argues that growing birth-rates among religious believers, and falling birth-rates among secular couples are set to dramatically shift the political and demographic make-up of the West.
As Ireland joins the rest of Europe in facing an unprecedented demographic shift, the government has announced that the retirement age will be raised to 66 in four years and eventually to 68 as part of a comprehensive reform of the pension system.