Dr. Jennifer D. Sciubba, associate professor of international studies at Rhodes College and a political demographer, has a new book out titled 8 Billion and Counting: How Sex, Death, and Migration Shape Our World (W. W. Norton, March 2022).
On April 12, she will give a talk and sign copies of the book on campus. Free and open to the public, the event begins at 6 p.m. in Blount Auditorium of Buckman Hall.
As the world nears 8 billion people, the countries that have led the global order since World War II are becoming the most aged societies in human history, according to Sciubba. As an example, centenarians—those over 100 years old—are the fastest-growing age group. She also says that today in the U.S. if everyone from the youngest to the oldest lined up, the middle person would be 38 years old; in 1975, that person would have been 29.
Yet, the world’s poorest and least powerful countries are suffocating under an imbalance of population and resources. This is the biggest demographic divide ever, according to Sciubba, and will drive political, economic, and social relations over the next two decades.
Drawing from decades of research, policy experience, and teaching, Sciubba employs stories and statistics to explain that demographic trends, such as age structure and ethnic composition, are crucial signposts for future violence and peace, repression and democracy, poverty, and prosperity. In the book, she also writes about the impact of mass migrations of populations.
“The tools I teach in this book are essential for understanding the demographic angles of today’s news, such as Russia-Ukraine,” she says. Sciubba recently has published on immigration in The Atlantic (March 31), and her book was featured in a New York Times article by Peter Coy.
Sciubba is a former demographics consultant to the United States Department of Defense and an internationally recognized expert in the field of demographic security. She serves on the Executive Committee of the Population Reference Bureau’s Board of Trustees and is a Global Fellow at the Wilson Center in Washington, DC.
In addition to numerous academic articles, Sciubba is the author of The Future Faces of War: Population and National Security and the editor of A Research Agenda for Political Demography.