So why are they creeping back into the discussion? For three reasons: Because African birthrates haven’t slowed as fast as Western experts once expected, because European demographics are following Macron’s Law toward the grave, and because European leaders are no longer nearly so optimistic about assimilating immigrants as even a few short years ago.
In 2004, the United Nations projected that Africa’s population would level off by 2100 at around 2 billion. Today, it projects that it will reach 4.5 billion instead. This change in the expected trend is more likely a result of sluggish economic growth than proof of an African exception to Macron’s Law. But whatever the explanation, by century’s end, 2 in 5 humans could be African.
This trend would have revived a certain kind of population-bomb anxiety no matter what, but the anxiety in Europe is a little more specific than that — because over the same period, Europe's population is likely to drop by about 100 million. The experience of recent refugee crises has demonstrated to European leaders both how easily populations can move and how much harder assimilation may be than they once hoped.
Which is why anyone who hopes for something other than destabilization and disaster from the Eurafrican encounter should hope Europeans themselves begin to have more children. This would not forestall the near-inevitable northward migration, but it would make it easier to assimilate immigrants once they arrived — European economies would be stronger, ethnic polarization would not fall so dramatically along generational lines, and in politics, youthful optimism and ambition might help counteract the fear and pessimism of white Europeans growing old alone.
And focusing on European fertility has at least one moral advantage over Macron’s finger-wagging at African baby-making: It’s the part of the future that Europeans actually deserve to control.