Demography & Health

  • A Few Certainties About Covid-19
    There is plenty that we do not know about the coronavirus. But let us take stock of the things that we do know for sure, and of some other things that we will soon know. Real-world Exponentiality By now, a child understands exponential growth. If you start with one apple on March 1st and double every … Read more A Few Certainties About Covid-19
  • The Pandemic as a ‘Gray Rhino’ Event, with Michele Wucker
    “The paradox of the Gray Rhinos is that the further they are down the road, the less likely you are to do something about them. But that is the time when it will cost the least and you are most likely to be successful.” ____ Michele Wucker Sami J. Karam speaks to best-selling author Michele Wucker about … Read more The Pandemic as a ‘Gray Rhino’ Event, with Michele Wucker
  • 2020 Election: Democrats Heading to a Brokered Convention?
    An occasional commentary on the 2020 US Presidential Election in which demographics and identity politics play a bigger role than ever before. Here, we explain why primary and convention rules make it difficult for a frontrunner to emerge in a crowded field. Today, President’s Day, is as good as any to draw some lessons from … Read more 2020 Election: Democrats Heading to a Brokered Convention?
  • De-Politicizing Climate Activism
    Or how Greta Thunberg can create more converts. “Nature is not a temple. It is a workshop, and a human being is the worker in it.”                               _                           … Read more De-Politicizing Climate Activism
  • Talking About Cities, with Aaron Renn
    “You go to some of these places [Midwestern cities], the question they ask when they meet you is ‘where did you go to high school’?… The fact that where you went to high school is a social marker places you in a community. You go to Washington DC and nobody cares where you went to … Read more Talking About Cities, with Aaron Renn
  • Fertility and Literacy in India’s States
    Higher female literacy is a reliable predictor of lower fertility and improved prosperity. In a previous article, we highlighted a clear connection in sub-Saharan Africa between a country’s total fertility rate (TFR = average number of children per woman) and its young female literacy rate. The data showed that higher literacy may set off a chain reaction … Read more Fertility and Literacy in India’s States
  • Future Hubs of Africa and Asia
    On UN projections between 2015 and 2050, the world population will grow by nearly 2.38 billion people, from 7.35 billion to 9.73 billion. Although this 32% growth is a big increase, it marks a slowdown from the 66% growth rate recorded in the preceding 35 years (1980-2015). Total Fertility Rates (TFRs) have come down all … Read more Future Hubs of Africa and Asia
  • Notes from the Wharton Africa Business Forum
    The Wharton Africa Business Forum took place in Philadelphia on November 3-5, 2017. Present were the Finance Minister of Nigeria, the CEO of Ethiopian Airlines and other business leaders (notably from lead sponsors McKinsey & Company and the Boston Consulting Group) and educators. The event was attended by hundreds of participants including Wharton faculty, students … Read more Notes from the Wharton Africa Business Forum
  • Africa: 800 Million Jobs Needed
    African economies are in a race to get ahead of the demographic boom. Let us share without fear the journey of migrants and refugees. #ShareJourney — Pope Francis (@Pontifex) September 27, 2017 “Let us share without fear the journey of migrants and refugees.” Pope Francis (@Pontifex) tweet on 27 September 2017. While some people in … Read more Africa: 800 Million Jobs Needed
  • A Different Kind of Border Wall
    To slow mass migration, stop the illicit capital flight from poor to rich countries. An asset manager called ____ Capital recently sent out this email seeking referrals: The US Investor visa program allows one to invest $500,000 U.S. in a government licensed fund for a period of about five years and in around 18 months, a … Read more A Different Kind of Border Wall
  • New Infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa
    This post will be continuously updated as we learn about new projects. Go to the bottom of the page for new entries. On the three main vectors of wealth creation, African countries have lagged other developing nations for several decades. Sub-Saharan Africa is the poorest region of the world and suffers from poor infrastructure, uneven … Read more New Infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Father of the Bernie Sanders Presidency
    President Trump’s elite-managed populism opens a path for a more genuine version. On the usual political spectrum, there are left and right, people who call themselves progressive or conservative, socialist/social democrat or capitalist. But these labels seem to mean less today than in the past. The Trump phenomenon highlighted another divide that has little to do with the historic … Read more Father of the Bernie Sanders Presidency
  • The Economics of Dependency
    This article first appeared at Foreign Affairs. How countries hit the demographic sweet spot. Demographics are among the most important influences on a country’s overall economic performance, but compared with other contributors, such as the quality of governance or institutions, their impact is underappreciated. Demographic factors, such as the age structure of a population, can determine whether a … Read more The Economics of Dependency
  • Trump Country: Where the Immigrants Aren’t
    Trump did best in the states with the lowest percentages of foreign-born residents. “I love the poorly-educated”, gushed Donald Trump after winning the Nevada primary in February. But in the end, what happened in the primary, stayed in the primary. Come November, Trump lost the state to Hillary Clinton, a turn that is explained by the fact … Read more Trump Country: Where the Immigrants Aren’t
  • Should Children Vote?
    The rising cost of entitlements will test inter-generational harmony. In the week following the Brexit vote, a recurrent complaint from the losing side was that a majority of older people voted to leave while a majority of younger people voted to remain. In the eyes of the complainers, this rendered the leave outcome less legitimate because younger people … Read more Should Children Vote?
  • Job Creation Under the Next President
    (The Wall Street Journal published on November 2nd a synopsis of this post. It was also featured on January 20th in the French weekly L’Express.) Retraining the employed and the unemployed for higher value-added skills is now more important than simply adding to the number of jobs. Coal and steel magnate Wilbur Ross, a senior policy advisor to the Trump campaign, … Read more Job Creation Under the Next President
  • The US Census Digs Deeper
    Where were your ancestors from? Over 45 million Americans identify their dominant ancestry as German and 22,000 identify theirs as Marshallese, from the Marshall Islands in the Pacific. But in the US Census proposed new form for 2020, both of these groups get their own box to check for the first time. In the previous 2010 form (shown below), … Read more The US Census Digs Deeper
  • New York, Two States of Mind
    Is New York City helping or holding back Upstate New York? Towards the end of times, when all of mankind congregates in a final purgatory to draw the main lessons of this grand adventure called Life, there will be special attention paid to the centuries’ long efforts at harmonizing individual happiness with the needs of the collective. … Read more New York, Two States of Mind
  • 2016 populyst Index™ First Quartile Demographic Scores
    In constructing the populyst Index™, we use multiple sources to arrive at a rating for two of the index’s three pillars: Innovation & Productivity and Society & Governance. However our Demographics rating is developed by populyst. The score ranges from -2 to +2. Countries of the West and of the former Soviet bloc all rate at or below … Read more 2016 populyst Index™ First Quartile Demographic Scores
  • Sweden Tops populyst Index™ Ranking
    The idea of the populyst index™ is that there are three main vectors of wealth creation in any economy: Innovation & Productivity, Demographics & Health, and Society & Governance. Innovation & Productivity encompasses education, infrastructure and the creation of intellectual property assets. Demographics & Health includes population growth, the age profile of the population and health … Read more Sweden Tops populyst Index™ Ranking