Some developed countries in the world are expected to lose half of their population, in a development that might seem impossible while the world population continues its climb toward 8 billion.
"The world's population is likely to peak at 9.7 billion in 2064, and then decline to about 8.8 billion by the end of the century," reports Amy Woodyat, sharing news from a study by researchers from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington's School of Medicine.
"By 2100, 183 of 195 countries will not have fertility rates required to maintain the current population, with a projected 2.1 births per woman," according to Woodyat. "Some 23 countries -- including Japan, Thailand, Italy, and Spain -- will see populations shrink by more than 50%, researchers said."
One exception to the trend, according to the projections, will be sub-Saharan Africa, where the population could triple by 2100.
The changing birth rate and expected population decline is credited to better education and access to birth control for women. The consequences of a worldwide population decline could include declining economic growth and "negative implications" for labor forces and social support systems, according to Woodyat's explanation of the study. "The authors suggest that population decline could be offset by immigration, and that countries with liberal immigration policies will be better able to both maintain population size and support economic growth -- even as fertility falls."
More coverage on the new study is also available from The Guardian.
Related on Planetizen: "What Happened to the Population Bomb?" (June 2015)
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