New documentary advocates strong families to avert “demographic winter”
New documentary advocates strong families to avert “demographic winter”

.- Filmmakers announced at a National Press Club press conference on Tuesday a “groundbreaking” documentary that addresses the problems of population decline and predicts a coming “demographic winter” that will result from weakened families.  

Population decline is projected to seriously affect the sustainability of present societies by reducing the economic and tax bases of nations.  The movie claims that as the number of elderly people swells there will be fewer and fewer young people to help care for them.

The documentary, titled "Demographic Winter: the decline of the human family,” was written and directed by Rick Stout to examine developed countries that are below population replacement rates.  The film brings together demographers, economists, sociologists, and civic and religious leaders to explore problems present generations will soon face due to shrinking and aging populations.

According to a press release for the film, the global birthrate has declined by 50 percent over the past half-century. Fifty nine nations, containing 44 percent of the world’s population, have birthrates below the replacement level of 2.1 children per woman.  

The filmmakers report that the European birthrate is 1.3 children per woman.  This dearth of children is expected to cause Europe to have a shortfall of 20 million workers by 2030, while Russia could lose one-third of its population by 2050.  The chilling effect this decline is projected to have on economics and culture has led some to dub the phenomenon a “demographic winter,” a phrase from which the documentary takes its title.

“In nations with declining populations, who will operate the factories and farms? Who will guard the frontiers? With a graying population (a declining birthrate combined with growing longevity), who will support pension systems and otherwise care for the elderly?” asked the filmmakers in a press release.

Speakers at the press conference included Dr. Allan Carlson, the International Secretary of the World Council of Families; Maria Sophia Aguirre, a professor of economics at Catholic University; Patrick Fagan, a Senior Fellow at the Family Research Council; and Phillip Longman, author of “The Empty Cradle:  How Falling Birthrates Threaten World Prosperity And What To Do About It.”

A three-minute trailer for the documentary is available at www.demographicwinter.com.

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