Debunking the Population Myths

May 14, 2010 • Daily Email Recap

Thanks to Mark O’Connor for the article below and for the information on the website of the Stable Population Party of Australia (SPPA), which is now up and running. See

Debunking the Population Myths

It’s time to start knocking down the myths that prop up population growth.

It’s inevitable that we grow to a vast population. No. Demographers say we could, if we chose, still stop at 23 million the figure the Australian Academy of Science has said should be our safe maximum.

Wouldn’t the refugee intake have to suffer? No, it could be doubled, even if we if we choose to stop at 23 million. Refugees are a tiny fraction of our annual migrant intake.

Our future suburbs will come with you-beaut transport systems and every imaginable public facility. They’ll be glorious places to live. So when was the last time we so much as managed to build the train line and the train station before installing the suburb, instead of vice versa? Blind Freddy can see we’re not keeping up with population growth even now.

There’s no necessary connection between more people and more environmental damage. Or between speeding and having an accident. But there is a very likely and probably connection.

More people means higher house prices and makes us all richer. No, it makes a few of us absurdly rich and turns the rest into mortgage slaves. It now takes both spouses working full time and often overtime to take out a competitive loan for a house in a nice suburb. If one of them gets retrenched it’s a disaster. Marriages crack under the strain, people grow tired and angry as they feel their life slipping away in endless work, children are neglected and turn to drugs or whatever. The only people who profit reliably by Australia’s bizarrely high house-prices are speculators who own additional houses or house blocks that neither they nor their children need. By contrast, in a society with a stable population most people don’t even need to buy a house, they inherit one.

We can’t do anything about Australia’s population problem till we’ve solved the world’s. Wrong. We don’t have to solve the world’s population problem. The world has to solve the world’s population problem. We have to solve our own. Every country, even Java, started from a very small human population, and has both the right and the responsibility to keep its population in balance with its environment and its resources. Those that don’t, do not have the right to claim lebensraum (living space) from others.

Australia is a vast continent. No. In terms of resources for humans, it is better described as a small country with big distances.

We’re going to be very short of labor. Not so. Employer groups who don’t like to train their workers or pay the going price for labor are always begging government to import more skilled and willing (meaning pre-trained and docile) workers. They offer bizarre estimates of future business growth to justify this. The reality is that over 100,000 young Australians dropped out of the work force last year, unable to compete with imported workers.

We have this ageing population disaster coming. Rubbish, say the economists Richard Denniss and Ross Gittins. Australia’s population is unusually young by first world standards, and other countries with older populations aren’t pushing up their populations in the same way. It is those too young to work, not those too old, who make the greater demands on the public purse. There are countries where half the population is under twenty, and they are basket cases. An older population is the sign of a rich, successful and healthy country.

For more population myths, and answers to them, see

Current World Population


Net Growth During Your Visit