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Peter Zeihan

Geopolitical Strategist

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Mexicans are having fewer babies — and that’s a problem

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Peter Zeihan

Geopolitical Strategist

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Mexico’s population is still growing but at a much slower rate (<1.0%) than in previous decades. And the reason is simple: women are having fewer children. In the early ’60s, Mexican women in their childbearing years gave birth to an average of seven children. In 2023, that average dropped to around two children.

Straight Arrow News contributor Peter Zeihan, who has been tracking demographic changes all over the world, explains how “a combination of the global financial crisis, COVID, and drug wars made people a tad less interested in raising kids” in Mexico.

Excerpted from Peter’s Aug. 1 “Zeihan on Geopolitics” newsletter:

Most of the developing world has relatively similar demographics… the defining characteristic being a boatload of kids. And until recently, Mexico was no exception to that.

The first chart shows Mexico’s demographics before the new data was released. The only thing of note is the drop-off around age 25, where Mexico starts to move from a pyramid to a column shape. This is essentially a warning sign that if nothing changes, there will be a demographic collapse down the road.

The second chart shows Mexico’s demographics with the new data. Where did all the kids go? Well, a combination of the global financial crisis, COVID, and drug wars made people a tad less interested in raising kids. On top of that, America has shifted to a closed border system, which forced Mexican families to move to the U.S. full time instead of sending the men over for seasonal work.

This isn’t the nail in the coffin for Mexico, but they must change things up. And for the Americans, they best start treating their Mexican population like the precious resource it has become.

Hi, everyone, Peter zine here coming to you from the Oxford Belford saddle to the Colorado’s fourteeners in the collegiate wilderness. Today we’re going to talk about demographics in Mexico. This first chart is one that I’ve shown many, many, many times. And it’s a traditional developing world demographic with lots of children. Now, there are two things I want to call out here. First of all, you’ll notice that when you get to about the 2530 year olds, there’s a sharp drop in the birth rate that happened when Mexico was operationalizing. NAFTA and the birth rate hasn’t recovered, it’s steadily trending down. Now, at piece one, knowing that, if Mexico continues to age at its current rate, that we’ll be facing a German style demographic collapse sometime the 2070s, maybe 2060s. So a lot of time for things to go, right. But problem is, is when I was doing some research to update accidental superpower. By the way, a 10 year anniversary edition coming out this fall, US, Mexico has updated their data. And here’s the new data. And you’ll notice that giant bite out of children and teenagers is three things. First of all, the global financial crisis, which hurt everybody’s economic fortunes and made a lot of people a lot of countries are less willing to have kids second COVID at the tail end, same general issue as the financial crisis. But third is America is shifting to a more closed border situation. Now that migration from Mexico to the United States has been flat to negative since roughly 2007. But you had a relatively fluid border situation where people would cross for work for the season and go home. By making the border more ossified. A lot of Mexicans have come in state. And that has shown up in their younger demographics, because it’s more likely now that young families are going to be coming rather than transient males who are just coming for seasonal agricultural work. It’s plus it’s a minus it all depends upon how you stayed on the issues of immigration and economic growth. But the bottom line is, is that there’s no longer a bottle supply of Mexicans that we need to start treating them like we would treat any other precious resource. Oh, yeah. One more thing, drugs, Americans pension for cocaine has helped the drug war in Mexico reach new heights, that we’re looking at 10s of 1000s of people getting murdered every year. Needless to say that is problematic for things like family formation. So as long as the drug war is going to be going on, Mexico’s probably going to have a significantly lower birth rate than it would otherwise. That’s not a problem today. It’s not a problem tomorrow, but if you fast forward to the 2050s You’re talking about a pretty serious crip. By that point. The demographic situation would be unfixable and you’d be looking at significant national drops in capacity by the 2060s. All right now I’m really done back

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