In answering a question about Dementors having magic, David Stratton referenced a J.K. Rowling quote, included below.

Cornersoul: So what happens to all the dementors where will they go will they be destroyed if so, how

J.K. Rowling: You cannot destroy Dementors, though you can limit their numbers if you eradicate the conditions in which they multiply, ie, despair and degradation.

(from mugglenet.com - scroll down to "J.K. Rowling 'Deathly Hallows' Webchat")

They cannot die, but they can and do breed when the conditions are right.

We've also seen that a group of them together can cause many of the conditions that allow them to breed (Dumbledore forbid them to be on school grounds, as they would have caused this mood across the school).

Does this mean the world's population of Dementors can only increase? If left unchecked in an area, such as a war-torn 3rd world country, could their population increase to the point where they can turn whole countries into places like Azkaban?

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    No canon answer aside from JKR bad at math. REALLY bad, based on Jeff's math – DVK-on-Ahch-To May 3 '12 at 15:58
  • Maybe they survive on the planet until the sun turns into a red giant and destroys the earth, and then go wandering the galaxy to find other civilizations to torment? – Rex Kerr May 3 '12 at 18:39
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    Eventually the GhostBusters show up and imprison them in Ecto-Containment Units. – Gorchestopher H Apr 11 '14 at 14:25
  • While I don't know what a dementor is, unless he has teleportation or long-range abilities, I'm pretty sure throwing it into the sun would work pretty well in "dismissing" him: even if it somehow survived (which is nonsense, but let's pretend it does), it wouldn't be able to do much damage from there, unless he was able to breed in such a condition. – o0'. Apr 11 '14 at 14:29
  • Duplicate of this scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/8934/can-dementors-die – Valorum Apr 11 '14 at 21:08

The answer is in the details of the quote.

You cannot destroy Dementors

There is a great deal of difference between being able to destroy a Dementor, and them never dying.

This leads into speculative theory, but I believe the idea is that by limiting the conditions in which they thrive, you can starve the dementors, and cause their numbers to diminish.

While they would likely find other areas of the world to thrive in, like the aforementioned 3rd world countries you describe, they are not necessarily an eternal creature - just one that cannot (directly) be destroyed.

This answer (sort of) supports the idea, though it's worth noting that there's no definitive answer to THAT question.

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    And third world countries are not necessarily the best breeding places for Dementors. There are a lot of people there who barely own the clothes they wear, earn barely enough to not starve, and live a simple but happy life. The Dursleys were relatively rich, but they don't seem to have been really enjoying life. – vsz Apr 11 '14 at 15:29
  • @vsz And I suppose there are some 1st world countries that would be veritable breeding grounds for Dementors by the sheer opressive nature of the ruling class. – Zibbobz Apr 11 '14 at 15:34
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    In the first world, people that are unhappy are not because of oppression, but because of no matter how well they are living, there are people in the vicinity who live much better. If everyone in the village is equally poor, you don't have that comparison. – vsz Apr 11 '14 at 16:39
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    @vsz In first world countries that encourage internal competition, that's very true, and for third world countries that don't have as many problems, that is also true...but there are more than one kind of each type of country. Also, I'm fairly certain the despair of starvation is a lot more potent than the despair of not having a nice enough car. – Zibbobz Apr 11 '14 at 16:42
  • This seems to me like the best answer: Dementors can die naturally (or have some other method of population stabilization) and thus will not definitely take over the entire world. – Jeff Apr 14 '14 at 16:18

This is all theory, but it would be somewhat logical to assume that part of the reason the Dementors were thriving so much is the general feelings of fear and despair that the wizarding population was feeling due to Voldemort's return. The mood reversal would probably stunt or possibly reverse the trend for the Dementor population growth ( populations thin during famine ). Anywhere there is sufficient hope or joy, Dementors would probably have difficulty establishing a population.

Going with that, yes, they would likely infest a country full of people that are feeling nothing but hate, sorrow, and other forms of misery - it would be like an all you can eat buffet.

  • Populations don't thin for creatures that cannot die. – Keith Thompson Apr 11 '14 at 16:15
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    @KeithThompson See: My answer. – Zibbobz Apr 11 '14 at 16:43

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