Demographic threat

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The concept of demographic threat (or demographic bomb) is a term used in political conversation to refer to population increases from within a minority ethnic group in a given country that are perceived as threatening to alter the ethnic identity of that country.


Thousands of Bahraini Shia Muslims protested in March 2011 against the Bahraini government's naturalisation policy of granting citizenship to Sunni Muslims from other countries serving in the military of Bahrain.[1]


Main article: Immigration to Bhutan

Bhutan has a long-standing concern with the demographic threat posed by the immigration of ethnically distinct Nepali immigrants.[2][3][4][5]


There was a demographic competition during 19th and 20th centuries, between a French-speaking Catholic minority and an English-speaking Protestant majority.


In Estonia, one of the causes of the Singing Revolution was the concern over the demographic threat to the national identity posed by the influx of individuals from foreign ethnic groups to work on such large Soviet development projects as phosphate mining.[6][7]


Main article: Eurabia

Mass immigration from Arab and Muslim countries, and the high fertility rate among these immigrants are described by many conservatives as posing a demographic threat to Europe, especially France.[8] Some of those conservatives have claimed that today about a third of newborns in France have Muslim parents.[9]


Many Hindu Indians see Muslims as a "demographic threat" because of their large population growth due to high fertility rates[10] and because of the high rate of illegal immigration from Bangladesh.[11][12][13]


In the 1950s, Shoham Melamad found that the high fertility rate of Arabs was viewed as a demographic threat to the Jewish nation.[14] Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, however, stated that Arabs in Israel should be treated equally to any other Israeli citizens and be allowed to have children just like any other citizen.[15] A 1967 Maariv editorial suggested that Jews should be encouraged to have large families, while Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Srip and in Israel should be encouraged to adopt birth control measures. Schnitzer also advocated for the adoption of an open policy encouraging Arabs to emigrate from Israel.[16]

In 2003, Benjamin Netanyahu opined that if the percentage of Arab citizens of Israel rises above its current level of about 20 percent, Israel would not be able to retain a Jewish demographic majority, the basis of Israel's self-definition as a "Jewish democratic state". Netanyahu's comments were criticized as racist by Arab Knesset members and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.[17][18] In May 2009, Michael Oren wrote an article in Commentary in which he discussed the "Arab Demographic Threat" as one of "Seven Existential Threats" facing Israel.[19] In 2005, Shimon Peres told US officials that Israel had "lost" land in the Negev "to the Bedouin" and would need to take steps to "relieve" the "demographic threat". In 2010, Netanyahu warned in a government meeting that a Negev "without a Jewish majority" would pose "a palpable threat".[20] In February 2014, then Israeli finance minister Yair Lapid said failure to establish a Palestinian state would leave Israel facing a demographic threat that could undermine its Jewish and democratic nature.[21]


The Malaysian government has been accused of masterminding Project IC to alter the demographic pattern of the East Malaysian state of Sabah.[22]

Northern Ireland[edit]

In Northern Ireland, Protestants are more likely to favour continued political union with the UK, while Catholics are more likely to favour political union with the rest of Ireland. When Ireland was partitioned in the 1920s and Northern Ireland came into existence, Protestants were roughly 60% of the population, as a result of higher fertility rates among Catholics, this has come down to less than 50% in the 2011 census for the first time, while Catholics make up slightly less than 50% and slightly less than Protestants. There is debate over whether and to what extent this trend will continue and it's possible impact on the political situation.


Russia fears the "demographic threat" posed by the potential for "large-scale Chinese immigration" to its thinly populated far east.[23] Illegal immigration of Chinese nationals is a special concern.[24]

United States[edit]

Some in the United States have expressed concern about the "demographic threat" posed by millions of migrants from Mexico and Latin America, and their descendants.[25]

Mormons were repeatedly expelled from communities, partly because of their bloc voting.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Thousands stage rally in Bahrain". Al Jazeera. 9 March 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2013. 
  2. ^ Bhutan: A Movement in Exile By D. N. S. Dhakal, Christopher Strawn, Nirala Publications, 1994, p. 312
  3. ^ Bhutan: Perspectives on Conflict and Dissent, Michael Hutt, Published by Kiscadale, 1994, p. 91
  4. ^ European Bulletin of Himalayan Research, Universität Heidelberg Südasien-Institut, Südasien Institut, 1991, p. 25
  5. ^ In Defence of Democracy: Dynamics and Fault Lines of Nepal's Political Economy, Ram Sharan Mahat, Adroit Publishers, 2005, p. 265
  6. ^ Estonia and the Estonians, Toivo U. Raun, Hoover Press, 2001, p. 223
  7. ^ Understanding Ethnic Violence: Fear, Hatred, and Resentment in Twentieth-century Eastern Europe, Roger Dale Petersen, Cambridge University Press, 2002, p. 156
  8. ^ Europe for the Europeans: the foreign and security policy of the populist radical right, dir. Christina Schori Liang, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2008, p. 132; The Islamic challenge in Europe, Raphael Israeli, Transaction Publishers, 2008, p. 47;
  9. ^ "in France, approximately one birth in three is to a Muslim family" in Jennifer Morse, Acton Institute, 2006-01-25; "a third of the young people in France have been born to Muslim parents" in John Reilly, 2006; "1 out of every 3 babies born in France today is a Muslim baby." in Hugh Fitzgerald, Douce France[1], jihadwatch, 2004-06-23; "a third of all births [in France] are already Muslim." in Mark Steyn, America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It, Regnery ed, 2006-09-16, ISBN 0-89526-078-6, p. 47;
  10. ^ Women, States, and Nationalism: At Home in the Nation?, By Sita Ranchod-Nilsson, Mary Ann Tétreault, Routledge, 2000, p. 111
  11. ^ Why India is concerned about Bangladesh, Ramananda Sengupta | December 22, 2005 [2]
  12. ^ Mohajir's Pakistan, M.K. Chitkara. Pub. A.P.H., Delhi, 1996, p. 21
  13. ^ Illegal Migration from Bangladesh, Braja Bihārī Kumāra, Astha Bharati, Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research, Astha Bharati, 2006, p. 86
  14. ^ Shenhav, 2006, p. 191.
  15. ^ Does A High Arab Birthrate Threaten Israel?
  16. ^ Masalha, 2000, pp. 200-202.
  17. ^ Sedan, Gil (18 December 2003). "Netanyahu: Israel's Arabs are the real demographic threat". Haaretz. 
  18. ^ "MKs slam Netanyahu's remarks about Israeli Arabs". 17 December 2003. 
  19. ^ "Seven Existential Threats". Archived from the original on 2009-05-08. Retrieved 2009-05-13. 
  20. ^ Ben White (22 October 2012). "Israel: Ethnic cleansing in the Negev". Retrieved 2014-11-15. 
  21. ^ AP (17 February 2014). "Lapid warns failure of peace talks poses demographic threat". Retrieved 2014-11-16. 
  22. ^ Sadiq, Kamal (2005). "When States Prefer Non-Citizens Over Citizens: Conflict Over Illegal Immigration into Malaysia" (PDF). International Studies Quarterly. 49: 101–122. doi:10.1111/j.0020-8833.2005.00336.x. Retrieved 2008-04-23. 
  23. ^ Russia's Far East: a region at risk By Judith Thornton, Charles E. Ziegler, University of Washington Press, 2002, p.22
  24. ^ Security and Migration in Asia: The Dynamics of Securitisation, By Melissa Curley, Siu-lun Wong, Taylor & Francis, 2007, p. 87
  25. ^ Keeping Out the Other: A Critical Introduction to Immigration Enforcement Today, David Brotherton, Philip Kretsedemas, Columbia University Press, 2008, p. 17


External links[edit]