The growth of the world’s population could be halted by the middle of this century. This is earlier than originally thought. By 2100, 183 of the 195 countries will already have a birth rate below the replacement level of 2. This is shown by a new study carried out in The Lancet.
The figures are striking because they are much lower than current UN forecasts. According to these projections, by 2100, almost 11 billion people would live on our globe. The new study predicts “only” 8.8 billion. By way of comparison, we now have almost 7.8 billion. The peak would be reached in 2064 with 9.7 billion people. At the latest, the world’s population will shrink again. This has serious consequences. For example, 23 countries – including Japan, Spain, Italy, and Thailand – will see the total population decline by more than half.
The main cause of this decline is a sharp decline in the birth rate. This trend will continue in developing countries as the population has better access to health care and contraception. The study warns that without migration, major geopolitical and economic shifts are on the way. In China and India in particular, the ageing population could slow economic growth.