Far-sighted governments must realise that the only way to replace lost younger generations is to look abroad
Cal Flyn’s fascinating feature on the implications of falling birth rates failed to mention the obvious, but still politically controversial, panacea – immigration (“As birth rates fall, animals prowl in our abandoned ‘ghost villages’”, Focus). Sooner or later, far-sighted governments need to realise that the only way to replace their lost younger generations is to encourage immigration. Such population movements will provide younger workers to look after the elderly, rebuild declining villages and towns and stimulate their economies.
Immigration has always played a vital role in the cultural reinvigoration of increasingly moribund societies and never is that more essential than today. It is an irony that the countries where population is falling fastest and older age groups are increasing as a proportion of the population, such as Italy, France, the UK, Japan, Russia and Spain, are some of those most opposed to immigration.