Monday marks the beginning of the new Chinese Year, the Year of the Dragon and Chinese communities all around the world are preparing for the extravagant festivities which will take place, including vibrant parades and huge manifestations. However, along with the joy of a new year, the dragon also brings a warning, regarding population growth in Asian countries.
China, which has been desperately trying to limit the number of births, and thus the population growth, is preparing for a 5% increase in the number of babies born in 2012, according to state news agency Xinhua. The Chinese calendar is divided in cycles of 12 years, each symbolized by a specific animal, out of which the dragon is considered to be the most auspicious, associated with strength, intelligence and good fortune; many believe it to be the best sign for people destined for success, so many will want their children to be born in this sign.
Traditionally, Dragon years generate much more births than any other sign in the Zodiac, and surveys revealed that 70% of people would like their children born in these years, according to CBS. In China, a country which officially accounts for 1.3 billion people, overpopulation is one of the most common fears, and news of such an increase might pressure parents who comply to the country’s one child policy, as well as compete for elite schools. This will bring an additional imbalance to an economy which is already starting to shake for the first time in a long time, and this imbalance might be felt worldwide; however, for countries like Taiwan, for example, which have really low birth rates, this news is embraced with joy and excitement.
Still, drawing the line and judging on a global scale, things become pretty clear. In a world which just recently reached 7 billion people, a growth of birth rate in Asia is extremely dangerous; the continent accounts for 60% of the world’s population and continues to grow, flooding other countries in the process. If we want to adopt a healthy and responsible attitude towards the planet and our species as a whole, one of the most important things we have to take care of is population growth, and a 5% increase is definitely worth taking into consideration.