Saturday, March 21, 2020

Hastening the Decline of Europe

So this Coronavirus disproportionately kills old people. And, according to some, prefers moderate climates. What does it all mean? We should expect a lot more dead Europeans than dead Africans. Lowering the European share of the global population should lower the importance of Europe in the scheme of global affairs.

Africa has only 1.9% of its population above age 69 (all population figures from Population Pyramid unless otherwise indicated). Europe has 13.3% of its population above age 69. (Bee-tee-dubs, the United States is at 11.1%.) As shown here, 70-somethings have an 8% death rate from COVID-19, and 80-something-pluses have a 14.8% death rate. So, we end up with this table here.

AreaPopulation70-79 (A)80+ (B)0.08A + 0.148Bnew births
United States331,002,64723,832,19012,909,1033,817,1223,791,712 (2018)
European Union446,824,56438,630,90325,969,7516,933,9954,245,710
Africa1,340,598,11320,108,9725,362,3922,402,35233,430,259

Africa has FOUR TIMES the population of the United States, but only experiences TWO-THIRDS the deaths, and that's not even accounting for the possible climate advantages that prevail in most of Africa.

(It turns out African live births are super hard to find in data. Lots of United Nations statistics has "Sub-Saharan Africa" separate from "North Africa and the Middle East," and doesn't offer a way of just getting figures for Africa. I cobbled it together from here and here.)

Even though Africa has a higher infant mortality rate, it's not 15 times higher, and it's falling fast. This disease is going to speed up the process of Europe losing its global influence.

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