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Since this hip little beach town was settled, Panama City Beach has harbored salty dogs and sand sharks who cook a great meal and spin a great story.

The Impact of War: Lisa See’s “The Sea Island of Women” - Los Angeles Review of Books

Come enjoy the best food, the best drink, and the best mostly-true tales of adventure on the gulf as told by our colorful locals. The truth was that he hated fishing, but he could spin a story into something bigger than anybody else in Panama City Beach could ever tell it without completely turning it into something other than the truth. So when he went missing for a couple of days and came back with a story about a mermaid and an underwater city, they laughed.

Carter wandered back onto the beach, and his buddies pointed and waved from out in the shimmering blue-green Gulf of Mexico. The guys called out, but instead of wading into the shallows to join them, Carter sat down hard in the sand, ran a hand through his disheveled blond hair, and shook his head.

He was staring out at the waves washing over the sugary-white sand with a look of awe and disbelief, and his friends were starting to get worried. One of his friends, Jake, laughed and clapped Carter on the back.

Tracing tales

Carter looked back up at him and shook his head slowly, his blue eyes growing serious as he pointed out toward the horizon. Iran's fertility fell from 7 in to just 1. Countries with below-replacement fertility include supposedly teeming Brazil, Tunisia and Thailand. Much of Europe and East Asia have fertility rates far below replacement levels. The fertility fall is releasing wave upon wave of demographic change. It is the main influence behind the decline of population growth and, perhaps even more important, is shifting the balance of age groups within a population.

A fall in fertility sends a sort of generational bulge surging through a society. The generation in question is the one before the fertility fall really begins to bite, which in Europe and America was the baby-boom generation that is just retiring, and in China and East Asia the generation now reaching adulthood. To begin with, the favoured generation is in its childhood; countries have lots of children and fewer surviving grandparents who were born at a time when life expectancy was lower.

That was the situation in Europe in the s and in East Asia in the s. This happens when there are relatively few children because of the fall in fertility , relatively few older people because of higher mortality previously , and lots of economically active adults, including, often, many women, who enter the labour force in large numbers for the first time.

It is a period of smaller families, rising income, rising life expectancy and big social change, including divorce, postponed marriage and single-person households. But there is a third stage. At some point, the gilded generation turns silver and retires. Now the dividend becomes a liability. There are disproportionately more old people depending upon a smaller generation behind them.

Population growth stops or goes into reverse, parts of a country are abandoned by the young and the social concerns of the aged grow in significance.

This situation already exists in Japan. It is arriving fast in Europe and America, and soon after that will reach East Asia. A demographic dividend tends to boost economic growth because a large number of working-age adults increases the labour force, keeps wages relatively low, boosts savings and increases demand for goods and services.

Part of China's phenomenal growth has come from its unprecedentedly low dependency ratio—just 38 this is the number of dependents, children and people over 65, per working adults; it implies the working-age group is almost twice as large as the rest of the population put together.

One study by Australia's central bank calculated that a third of East Asia's GDP growth in came from its favourable demography.

Numéros en texte intégral

About a third of America's GDP growth in also came from its increasing population. The world as a whole reaped a demographic dividend in the 40 years to In there were 75 dependents for every adults of working age.

In the number of dependents dropped to just Huge improvements were registered not only in China but also in South-East Asia and north Africa, where dependency ratios fell by 40 points. A demographic dividend does not automatically generate growth. It depends on whether the country can put its growing labour force to productive use. In the s Latin America and East Asia had similar demographic patterns.

The Truth Behind the Mermaid Myth

One of the biggest questions for Arab countries, which are beginning to reap their own demographic dividends, is whether they will follow East Asia or Latin America. But even if demography guarantees nothing, it can make growth harder or easier. National demographic inheritances therefore matter. And they differ a lot. Hania Zlotnik, the head of the UN's Population Division, divides the world into three categories, according to levels of fertility see map.

About a fifth of the world lives in countries with high fertility—3 or more. Most are Africans. Sub-Saharan Africa, for example, is one of the fastest-growing parts of the world. In it had half the population of Europe. It overtook Europe in , and by there will be just under 2 billion people there compared with m Europeans. About half of the 2. The rest of the world is more or less equally divided between countries with below-replacement fertility less than 2. The first group consists of Europe, China and the rest of East Asia.

The low-fertility countries face the biggest demographic problems. The elderly share of Japan's population is already the highest in the world. By the country will have almost as many dependents as working-age adults, and half the population will be over This will make Japan the oldest society the world has ever known. Europe faces similar trends, less acutely. It has roughly half as many dependent children and retired people as working-age adults now.

By it will have three dependents for every four adults, so will shoulder a large burden of ageing, which even sustained increases in fertility would fail to reverse for decades. This will cause disturbing policy implications in the provision of pensions and health care, which rely on continuing healthy tax revenues from the working population. At least these countries are rich enough to make such provision.

Not so China. With its fertility artificially suppressed by the one-child policy, it is ageing at an unprecedented rate. In China's median age the point where half the population is older and half younger was 22 years, a developing-country figure.

Surfer’s Tale

China will be older than America as early as and older than Europe by Spencer Gulf Spencer Gulf was once a floodplain lined with freshwater lagoons, according to the stories told by the Narrangga people. Depending on which parts of the large inlet near Adelaide that are referred to by the stories, they could be between 9, and 12, years old. This article is reproduced with permission from Climate Central. The article was first published on January 25, You have free article s left.

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