Futures Lab Russia, July 2021, invited Integral City to imagine cities in 100 years. This series of blogs comprises the lecture that was offered by Marilyn Hamilton PhD, Founder of Integral Cities.

Figure 6: Demographic Profiles of Four Societies (Page & Johnson, 2011)

Demographic Profiles Evolve

As we are observing, people are not all the same in different cities or even within cities. So, as a corollary to the global population data, let’s consider recent analysis of regional demographic profiles that show changes to worldviews and human capacities as the society matures in complexity (Page & Johnson, 2011).

Figure 6 shows the demographic growth profiles of four societies and their birth rates: Traditional/Pre-Industrial, Pre-Modern/Boom Time, Modern (Industrial)/Still Rising and Post Modern-Early Integral/The Plateau. The clear trend is that as societies become more complex (measured in terms of wealth and/or development), population fertility rates drop, life spans lengthen, and total population size stabilizes or reduces.

The outcomes of this pattern impact the 4 Voices of the City. The demographics of cities/societies result in different proportional impacts of the 4 Voices: Citizens grow from least to greater empowerment. Civic Managers trend from greatest to lesser power; Business/Innovators expand from less influence to more influence; and 3rd Sector/Civil Society discover an increasing capacity for coalescing and cohering all the other Voices.

Beck (Beck, nd) has proposed that in large scale human systems changes in complexity impact the political systems, economics and wellbeing of societies. He makes the point that democracy as a governance system comes in many forms that align with the stages of maturity of a country.

We would propose that cities are the key zones where each of these core society profiles emerge (Traditional, Pre-Modern, Modern Post-Modern/Integral) . The profiles seen in the sample Figure 7 nations (less and more developed) and Figure 8 (low and high income) effectively make visible the demographic shapes of the human hive at ever increasing stages of complexity in the years 1950, 2017, 2050 and 2100.

You can see that from all these profiles the city-nations with the most complex worldviews, most developed and most wealthy populations have proportionately fewer young people and more elders, with gradually stabilizing large populations in mid-life.

Figure 7: Demographic Profiles of Less & More Developed Nations

Figure 8: Demographic Profiles of Low- & High-Income Nations