The explosion of population – or is it going down?

“The population has grown from one billion to 7.8 billion in one century. When people say there has been a demographic explosion, it is true. It is a mistake to assume that growth will continue,” says Darrell Bricker, a nonfiction writer, and pollster, who wrote a book together with John Ibbitson about population growth.

Mirko Grisendi | Pixabay

The book “Empty Planet” talks about how population growth will start to decrease in the next three decades. It is highly known that population growth is one of the threats to climate change since more people lead to bigger land usage and energy consumption. The count of the population growth comes down with simple mathematics, with two important factors; how many people will be born and how many people will die.

The number of children given birth had halved since 1960 when an average woman gave birth to an average of 5 children. Today, the number is 2.4. If the birth rate falls under 2.1, the population will shrink.

The aging population on Earth will not regenerate. It is a rarely known fact that the population growth in the recent decades is not because we have more children; it’s because we live longer. Fifty years from now, the median age is approximately 40 years, when today, it is 30. When people age and the birth rate decreases, the population shrinks.

Anyhow, it’s not going to miraculously change our current situation. “In terms of the climate crisis, we cannot expect population growth to fold. Whether there are 9, 10, or 11 billion people in the future, that crisis must be resolved now.” says a Finnish sociologist, Anna Rotkirch. Besides that, who will work, grow the economy, and pay taxes once the population decreases and fewer people are able to do that and the elderly will be growing? In the coming decades, humanity will have to adapt to the different revolution in society.

Selina Niemi

Yle: Edessä häämöttävä väestöräjähdys on sitkeä väärinkäsitys – maailman väkiluku voi pian alkaa kutistua, mutta riittääkö se pelastamaan planeetan ympäristökriiseiltä?

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