Wow!! (I had actually heard about depopulation in Italy and some other places before, but didn’t realize it had become this much of a thing.)
“Some Japanese towns have taken extreme measures to attract new residents – offering to subsidise renovation expenses, or even giving houses away to young families. With the country’s population expected to fall from 127 million to 100 million or even lower by 2049, these akiya [empty houses] are set to grow ever more common – and are predicted to account for a third of all Japanese housing stock by 2033.”
It’s happening in Spain, Italy, and other places too, according to the article.
Interestingly, this dovetails with a train of thought I started having a few months back, when I started pondering reparations and land-return: Where would all the USAmerican-born people go if we were to decide to give the land all back to its original indigenous inhabitants?
And the answer that came to me was, “We’d have to apply to other countries for residency — and they might well not want us!”
We’d have to be flexible, adaptable, humble, and have useful skills to offer. We’d be in a very vulnerable position, similar to what refugees from other countries go through all the time.
If the other countries are depopulated and in need of extra hands and extra brains, they might be more receptive to such reverse-immigrants. (I pictured myself doing a crash-course in Slovak, to make myself a more attractive prospective resident of one of my ancestral European homelands. Then again, I already speak Japanese, and I love Japan and have lived there before, and Japan is one of the countries experiencing depopulation, so maybe I’d end up applying there … )
Don’t mind me, I just like to think ahead. Sometimes I get a little out-there, but what can I say, I like to plan for every possible scenario.
Here’s another quote that grabbed me from the article:
“A vision of the future, perhaps, in a post-peak world: smaller populations crowding ever more tightly into urban centres. And outside, beyond the city limits, the wild animals prowling.”
That vision, I really love, regardless of where I’m living. I like the idea of other species having more space again. Not only do I like the idea; I think it’s probably essential to the survival of human life on earth.