PC: Slightly higher U.S. population growth c. 1970-2018

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by anim8orkid, Jul 28, 2018.

  1. anim8orkid Well-Known Member

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    Oct 25, 2016
    Here's something I never thought I'd post a thread about: population growth.

    For a timeline that I'm working on, I have medical technology progressing more quickly from a combination of the following: higher funding from both government and private sources, faster computer chips leading to earlier breakthroughs in research, environmental stresses necessitating said research, cheaper drugs providing better treatments, and international cooperation towards the goals of reducing death from disease.

    Between all of these things, what I'm wondering is this: between the early 1970s (the genesis of the War on Cancer and microchip revolution) and today, is it possible to add 10-20 million people to the U.S. population? I've estimated half of this could come from better cancer treatments, with 5-year survival rates increased by about 30-50%. Such technology would also increase population levels in other countries, but I'm focusing on the U.S. right now.

    Is this plausible? Am I overestimating the number of people who would survive thanks to medical advances, or am I underestimating it? I'd also allow the factoring in of higher immigration to the U.S. thanks to a slightly higher standard of living and richer nation overall.
     
  2. anim8orkid Well-Known Member

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    Oct 25, 2016
    Bumping this. Any thoughts?
     
  3. interpoltomo please don't do coke in the bathroom

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    Sep 18, 2007
    Here's an easy pod to boost nativeborn fertility, effects most visible if done early ofc.

    UHC implemented sometime in the window when it was most likely -- new deal to 1970s irl, mid 1970s or a dem revolution early 1980s. Not having to worry about healthcare costs anywhere near as much as otl boosts middle class fertility. OTOH it might counteract itself given how much pressure on both parties it took to prevent return of immigration restrictions in the mid 80s, early 90s, right after 9/11 and well see the ongoing freakout over Trump as another example of it with less immigration partially counteracting nativeborn fertility being at replacement or worst cases close to it.
     
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  4. manitobot Well-Known Member

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    Sep 28, 2014
    Ya just immigrants, right.
     
  5. dartingfog Professional cynic

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    Aug 4, 2015
    What if no Roe vs. Wade? You could easily get 10-20 million more people in the USA (and probably much more than that) if abortion had been illegal in many states for the last 45 years. The problem is trying to get a 4-5 Supreme Court decision rather than a 7-2 split as in OTL. Perhaps Black and Harlan stay on the court, or the case is heard before they retire (I don't know how they would have voted, though)?
     
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  6. anim8orkid Well-Known Member

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    Oct 25, 2016
    I'm liking all these ideas, and I might try some of them out. But I'm still wondering about my initial proposal: fewer deaths from cancer and other diseases. Is it possible to prevent such a large number of deaths simply by funding research and development at higher levels? I understand UHC can partially solve this-- what about the public/private mix I mentioned?
     
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  7. dartingfog Professional cynic

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    Aug 4, 2015
    UHC would likely lower the death rate slightly (I don't know if I public/private mix is the best way, but let's run with it). It is reasonable to hypothesize that if some people in a country have no access to health care, they are more likely to die of preventable and treatable diseases. Consider this study, which was conducted shortly before the implementation of the ACA: https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/st...s-annually-linked-to-lack-of-health-coverage/

    If UHC is implemented in 1970, that is approximately 40 years of health care coverage for people who did not have it in OTL. Taken together, I would roughly estimate that the population of the U.S. today would be 1.8 milllion greater than OTL (45,000 x 40).

    I say this with the caveat that is only a very rough estimate and that a better estimate would take some very sophisticated statistical techniques.

    As for spending more on research, it is even harder to say what the effects would be. Research doesn't necessarily guarantee that breakthroughs will be made, so spending more isn't going to translate directly into greater longevity. That said, look at this study (which luckily is publicly available): http://www.pnas.org/content/106/27/10981
     
  8. Wendell Wendell

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    Jun 8, 2005
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    Lost in what might have been
    Population growth would drop off under UHC, as it has elsewhere.