Earlier this week, on 31 October, the United Nations calculated that the 7 billionth human being was born. There has been a spate of learned articles and opinion pieces about what this means for us all, with many references to Thomas Malthus and concerns expressed about the earth’s capacity to house and feed us all. Nevertheless, most commentators are agreed that within the next fifteen years or so we’ll pass the 8 billion mark and will still be discussing whether it’s a good thing or not. A special Financial Times supplement on New Demographics even took the projection to 26.8 billion by 2100. Tucked away in the analysis, though, was a worrying projection much closer to home: ‘Projections suggest that to maintain a stable dependency ratio – the relative size of the working and non-working populations – Europe will have to admit a potentially destabilising 1.3 bn migrants by 2050. The political and social backlash of such widespread immigration could be severe.’ This is almost the stuff of science fiction. Whether you call a billion a thousand million or a million million, the current population of Turkey is (just to give a measure of comparison) 78 million. Where on earth are Europeans going to find 1.3 bn migrants, and where on earth will they go?