Between the decline in the birth rate, the aging of the population and the concerns linked to global warming, the world population could be halved by the next century.
According to a UN study, the world population could reach the 8 billion human beings by November 15. A point of no return for the planet, which should continue to see the number of humans climb, until it exceeds the 10.4 billion by 2100. The predictions are alarming, but not unanimous. According to a new study conducted by HSBC economist James Pomeroy and reported by The echoeswe would not be 10 billion by the end of the century, but only 4 billion.
4 billion by 2100?
How to explain this turnaround in the face of a population increase that now seems unstoppable? According to the study, a size factor must be taken into account: our population is aging, and the birth rate is plummeting. 80 years from now, it’s a substantial drop in births which should follow a peak, scheduled for 2043.
It must be said that the fertility rate has been in free fall for several years. In 2021, the world average was only 2.3 children per woman, compared to 5 in 1950. By 2050, this figure is expected to drop to 2.1 children per woman, the date from which humanity will decline. According to the economist, the transition could be even faster, in particular because of the rise in real estate, the better integration of women into the labor market, and better access to contraception.
However, not all countries may evolve simultaneously. While Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea predict a clear inversion of their birth curve, others will continue to experience a rise in their population for a few more decades. Europe, on the other hand, should have halved its population before 2070, the study estimates. A drop of hope, at a time when climate concerns are becoming more and more pressing. Unless we change our consumption habits, this drop in births is becoming one of the only viable solutions.