The world’s population is expected to decline for the first time in the next century, a new study published in the journal Lancet has found.
Currently, there are approximately 7.8 billion people in the world. The study predicted that the peak of the world’s population is expected to be around 9.7 billion in 2064, then decline to 8.79 billion in 2100.
Up to 23 countries could see their populations decline by more than 50%, including Japan, Thailand, Italy, Spain, Portugal, South Korea and others due to low birth rates and the aging of the population.
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Even the most populous country like China would see its population drop from 1.4 billion in 2017 to 732 million in 2100.
While noting the global downward trend in population, the study also predicted that some parts of the world would experience an increase in population.
This includes North Africa, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa, which are expected to triple over the century, from 1.03 billion in 2017 to 3.07 billion in 2100.
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The population of India, the second most populous country in the world, is expected to hover around 1.09 billion in 2100, according to the study.
Lead author of the study and professor of global health at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), Stein Emil Vollset, told IFLScience: âThe last time the world population declined was in Canada. mid-fourteenth century, due to the Black Death. If our predictions are correct, this will be the first time that the population decline has been caused by a decline in fertility, as opposed to events such as a pandemic or famine. “
The study points out that girls’ education and increased access to contraception will slow fertility and population growth.
These factors determine the fertility rate – the average number of children a woman gives birth in her lifetime, which is the biggest determinant of population. The total global fertility rate is expected to decline steadily, 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 the population “, a he added.
(With contributions from agencies)