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Geography - Assignment Example

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Native Population Decline in Western Europe and Russia University Name Word Count: 1,269 Native Population Decline in Western Europe and Russia Introduction Population decline has been an issue in various Western countries for decades now. What started with the reality of massive casualties suffered in the various wars of the early to mid 20th Century, has now turned into a concern over an aging population, coupled with a lower than expected birth rate…
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Download file to see previous pages In reality, Western Europe probably has the resources to handle the aging population. What many experts are noting, however, is the reality that many traditional values are slowly being forgotten due a decrease in the native population of the region. The number of immigrants flooding into the region, bringing with them their own culture, values, and ways of life, is slowly blending in with other Western Europe traditions. This is slowly creating a new culture that many fear will mean the loss of many long-standing traditions that have been in place across the continent for centuries. Russia is facing yet a different crisis in terms of their recent decline in the native population. In previous decades, war and cultural conflicts have nearly decimated various sectors of the native population. This is quite troubling to the Russian people and they are fervently seeking out ways to reverse this trend and protect the less dominant groups residing within their borders. This brief paper will examine the issues surrounding this population decline within both Western Europe and Russia in an effort to better understand the importance of reversing this trend moving forward. Western Europe Western Europe has been undergoing a period of decline in terms of native population for quite some time now. Take Germany as an example. In Germany, if you take away immigration numbers, the net population would actually be declining. If these trends continue, Edmonston (2006) points out that, “The German population will eventually decline because of below replacement fertility, if net immigration does not counteract that decrease” (p. 513). Even if immigration does make up for the initial decline, the fear is that German culture will slowly be eroded and rewritten. The argument here is not centered on whether or not immigrants can assimilate into German culture. The reality is that immigrants are fulfilling a labor need and they are adjusting to the German way of life in record numbers. If this trend continues, however, certain traditions and values that Germans have held dear for centuries could easily become forgotten. The reality of population decline and the potential erosion of cultural values is not limited to Germany. All over Western Europe countries are grappling with the reality that native population growth is simply not keeping up with an aging and dying society. From the United Kingdom to France to Scandinavian countries, governments are faced with difficult decisions about how to deal with the problem. Part of the problem in Western Europe appears to be sociological in nature. Europeans, under systems of democracy, have seen less of an emphasis on class divisions in recent years. In addition, the general population is more materialistic than before and young adults have big dreams and ambitions for their life. Because of this, and the sheer expense of raising children, the birth rate has plummeted to levels never before seen. All of these reasons, and others, combine to form a reality where population growth simply becomes difficult to achieve (Ross, 2003, pp. 710-711) Russia The entire region of Russia has been experiencing a decline in their native population as well. In ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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