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Stationary population as theoretical concept and as policy vision

Anatole Romaniuc, University of Alberta

The paper discusses the desirability and achievability of a stationary population in economically advanced countries, presently relying heavily on immigration to sustain population growth and meet the requirements for labour. Concerns for environment and national identity are among the main compelling reasons for seeking a stationary population in the long run. As to its achievability, the paper explores such avenues as: maximising knowledge rather than body movement across international boarders; use of labour-saving automation; tapping into unused human resources of the growing healthy, well-educated elderly population; a more balanced allocation of resources between production and reproduction to generate an increase in fertility commensurable with stationarity requirements while reducing immigration accordingly. Reduced, better-targeted immigration under the stationary scenario allows a more complete integration of immigrants into mainstream society and greater social cohesiveness, thus alleviating concerns for national identity, while maintaining competitive productivity. Stationary population stands out as an optimal policy option.

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Presented in Poster Session 5: Poster Session 5: contexts