New Canaan Library's World Events, History and Culture Book Group will meet at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 8, to discuss "What to Expect When No One's Expecting" by Jonathan Last.

The group will meet in the Plaut Room.

For years, overpopulation and its attendant environmental and societal problems have been looming over as a threat. But the population explosion has never detonated. In "What to Expect When No One's Expecting," Last notes the world is dealing with the opposite. Beginning in the 1970s, people around the world have been having fewer babies, not more, Last says. The prediction is that the world's population will peak, and then begin shrinking, within the next 50 years. In some countries, it's already starting. Japan's population will be cut in half by the end of the century, and statistics from Italy show there are already more deaths than births every year. China's "one child" policy has also made a major impact on the marriage dynamics of the country. In the United States, couples having fewer children, or none at all, have made an impact. If not for the wave of immigration over the last 30 years, the U.S. would be on the verge of shrinking, Last states.

"What to Expect When No One's Expecting" explains why the population implosion happened and how it is remaking culture, the economy and politics both at home and around the world.

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Last is a senior writer at The Weekly Standard in Washington. His writings have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the New York Post, among other publications.

The World Events, History and Culture Book Group is led by New Canaan resident Ken Hecht, whose interest in and knowledge of history provides a springboard for discussion. The group meets monthly to discuss a book that has been selected for its historic, global or cultural relevance.

For information, visit newcanaanlibrary.org or call 203-594-5003. All library programs are free and open to the public but registration is required online at newcanaanlibrary.org or by calling 203-594-5040.