World population forecast to decline for the first time in centuries

‘The last time that global population declined was in the mid 14th century, due to the Black Plague’Author of the article:Lynn ChayaPublishing date:Dec 10, 2021  •  1 day ago  •  2 minute read  •   232 Comments

GettyImages-1131476077 (1)

Article content

A new study published in the Lancet journal revealed that for the first time in centuries, the world’s population is set to decline starting in the next few decades.


Article content

There are currently around 7.8 billion people in the world. Experts believe the global population would peak at around 9.7 billion in 2064 before steadily declining to 8.79 billion by 2100.Canada’s up there with the most lucrative e-commerce markets


Up to 23 countries, including Japan, Thailand, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and South Korea, could see their populations decreased by 50 per cent as a result of low birth rates and an aging population.

Even China, the most populous country in the world and a nation often associated with exorbitant population growth, has a projected decline from 1.4 billion people to 732 million in 2100.


  1. China clamps down on vasectomies as it searches for ways to stop its population decline
  2. China to report first population decline since 1949 despite relaxing one-child policy


Article content

Stein Emil Vollset, the study’s lead author and Professor of Global Health at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), elaborated on the findings.

“The last time that global population declined was in the mid 14th century, due to the Black Plague,” he told IFLScience . “If our forecast is correct, it will be the first time population decline is driven by fertility decline, as opposed to events such as a pandemic or famine.”

Some countries, however, are forecasted to see an increase in population.

North Africa, the Middle East, and Sub-Saharan Africa are estimated to triple in population from 1.03 billion in 2017 to 3.07 billion in 2100.

“Africa and the Arab World will shape our future, while Europe and Asia will recede in their influence,” said Vollset. “By the end of the century, the world will be multipolar, with India, Nigeria, China, and the U.S. the dominant powers.”


Article content

Vollset attributes the decrease in population to two key factors: “Improvements in access to modern contraception and the education of girls and women.

“These factors drive the fertility rate – the average number of children a woman delivers over her lifetime which is the largest determinant of population. The global total fertility rate is predicted to steadily decline, from 2.37 in 2017 to 1.66 in 2100, well below the minimum rate (2.1 live births per woman) considered necessary to maintain population numbers.“

Days ago, Elon Musk shared similar sentiments at the Wall Street Journal’s annual CEO Council.

“I think one of the biggest risks to civilization is the low birth rate and the rapidly declining birthrate,” said the Tesla CEO. “And yet, so many people, including smart people, think that there are too many people in the world and think that the population is growing out of control. It’s completely the opposite. Please look at the numbers – if people don’t have more children, civilization is going to crumble, mark my words.”

When talking about how the Tesla Bot could potentially solve some of the world’s labour issues, he expressed that these bots will be a “generalized substitute for human labor over time.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s