Current Scenarios for the Demographic Future of the World: The Cases of Russia and Germany
In this article, we explore the demographic future of the world with a focus on scenarios for Russia and Germany. We seek an alternative to the Western standards of scenarios for global demographic development. We consider demographic development both in a positive and negative sense. Our analysis rests on such theoretical structures as the general theory of population, the classical theory of demographic transition, the concepts of the ‘second’, ‘third’, and ‘fourth’ demographic transitions, and scenarios for the ‘Eurasian demographic development path’. We employ a range of methods from comparative demography as well as historical analogies, expert evaluations and demographic forecasts. We analyse the patterns of current demographic development in Russia and Germany to explore various demographic scenarios. In the conclusion, we stress the need for Russia and other countries, including Germany, to embark on the ‘Eurasian demographic development path’ in view of the countries’ geographical positions and demographic values, with children being a dominant one. Otherwise, both Germany and Russia may disappear as national states as early as this century. The findings of this study can be used to improve the demographic policies of Russia and Germany.