According to a new study published Wednesday, the global population could see a decline in population in 2100 following a projected peak a little over mid-century. This is only 2 billion shy of UN population projections.
The changing population tides
Researchers from the University of Washington’s School of Medicine with their Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IMHE) reported that at the end of the century, it could be that majority of the countries will not be able to maintain their current population, following a potential decrease in their fertility rates. It is also forecasted that the number of babies born could be same to people turning over 80 years old.
They also said that there are 23 countries who could have a population reduced by half, not accounting for the immigrants, which include South Korea, Japan, and Spain. It was also projected that the population of China, which has the most number of people in any country in the world at 1.4 billion, could only amount to 730 million after eight decades.
The main reasons, the study stated, could be better women and girls who are receiving better education and providing wider access to contraception. They projected that a peak could occur by 2064, with a world population amounting to be 9.7 billion, which would then start to wane until closing the century with 8.8 billion people.
African population, on the other hand, is expected to triple, projected at three billion people, almost half of the total global population. Nigeria could be an 800 million-people country.
The possible impact
According to the study’s primary author and IMHE director, Christopher Murray, this could be good news. He said, “These forecasts suggest good news for the environment, with less stress in food production systems and lower carbon emissions, as well as significant economic opportunity for parts of sub-Saharan Africa.”
However, he warned that a decreasing national population could force governments to limit reproductive health services. He said that this could have possible unwanted results. The study recommended high-income nations to provide flexible policies for immigrants and provide social support for those who wanted children. That in order to sustain both the population and economy.