There are plenty of reputable research councils, including the UN, that have been predicting and reporting on birth dearths around the world. Italy, Germany, Spain, France, virtually all of Europe, are below replacement level. This is nothing new! This press release from the United Nations referred to research from 2002.
From a report of the Population Division of the UN:
Only in seven countries (three developing and four developed, including the United States)current fertility implies a near-replacement of generations. In 16 countries (including France and the United Kingdom) fertility levels vary from 1.60 to 1.85 children per woman; another 11 countries(including Germany and Poland) are characterized by TFR from 1.35 to 1.60 children per woman. But the“lowest low” category with 20 countries is the largest; it includes a number of relatively small countries(in terms of population size) but also Japan, Italy, Russian Federation and Ukraine.
Here are more good links:
- From the Population Council
A PBS Interview with Joseph Chamie of the United Nations Population Division, Alaka Basu from the Harvard Center of Population and Development Studies; and Riad Tabarrah, Director of the Center for Development Studies and Projects in Beirut, Lebanon.
Homepage of the Population Research Institute-lots to read
A news report regarding the amount of untouched land and wilderness in the world
One neat fact in circulation is that the whole popluation of the world could fit into the state of Texas, each with his/her own acre of land!