According to legend, the sycophantic courtiers of Canute, the 11th-century Danish king of England, told their king that in his might he could command even the heavens and the earth. To demonstrate to them the limits of temporal power, the king had his throne carried to the seashore and there ordered the tide to turn back.
Canute’s descendants in modern Denmark may have better luck in reversing a different kind of tide. Danish reader and commenter Kepiblanc has translated an article from yesterday’s Jyllands-Posten for Gates of Vienna. His comments:
Maybe there is hope — after all…
If this trend holds I think the key to the whole problem lies with the Muslim women. How long will they tolerate oppression, violence and neglect?
Living in a modern, secular society will hopefully give them second thoughts.
And here is the Jyllands-Posten article itself:
The proportion of immigrants rapidly declining
A new projection reveals a dramatic — long term — reduced proportion of immigrants and their offspring in Denmark. Two years ago the projection talked about 15.3% from less-developed countries in the year 2080. Strict legislation and dramatic decline in birth-rates now reduce that proportion to 8%.
In 1980 an immigrant woman gave birth to an average of 4.0 children. That number fell to 3.5 in 2000. But during successive years the number has fallen significantly and last year it reached 2.4 children per woman. That trend can be viewed as a consequence of the tightened immigration policy, especially concerning family reunions.
Those women arriving in Denmark from less-developed countries — who typically have many children — are now older than they used to be and fewer of them immigrate. According to the scientists behind the Danish projection those reduced rates of childbirth will have drastic consequences for the population in the long run.
The previous projection from 2004 predicted that immigrants and their offspring from less-developed countries like Turkey, Somalia, Lebanon and Iraq would amount to 15.3% of the Danish population by the year 2080. In reality that number now gets cut in half, namely 8%, in a new projection from 2006, conducted by the independent institute “Dream” — part of the Ministry of Finance, which conducted the 2004 projection as well.
The leader of the team at the “Dream” institute, Lars Haagen Pedersen: “It was very surprising, that the decline in birth-rates among immigrants from less-developed countries is of that magnitude. It cannot go unnoticed that the stricter conditions for family reunions with the 24-year condition plays a significant role. [A special Danish law that only allows for family-reunion if the applicant is 24 years old or older. — translator]. We predict that in the long run the immigrants’ birth-rate will reach the same level as that of Danish women. It must be emphasized, though, that the predictions are uncertain due to this new development”.
The demographic slide of Europe is not irreversible, provided the governments of the countries involved muster the political will to take the necessary action. And, as usual, Denmark is leading the way.