Scientists: The rise in global population might actually be leading to a fall

The rising global population has been a concerning phenomenon for over the past few decades – but would a decreasing one really be any better?

The growth of the world’s population and its potential effects have long worried scientists. However, according to recent studies commissioned by a non-profit organization called The Club of Rome, the world’s population may peak at 8.6 billion people around 2050 before declining to 6 billion by 2100. 

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Although this drop may appear contradictory, it raises critical questions about the potential difficulties humans may have to face in the following years.

In this article, we will dive deeper into this research and explore this projected trajectory of global population growth as well as the potential economic and environmental reasons behind this potential fall.

The impending challenge of overpopulation

When the population of a certain area exceeds its carrying capacity and resource availability, it is said to be overpopulated. 

Overpopulation is a contemporary problem, especially in the Philippines. With a population of over 110 million and scarce land resources, the nation has tremendous difficulties in maintaining sustainable development and providing basic services. 

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The demand on already scarce resources is made worse by the fast population growth rate and poor urban planning. As a result, there are issues like crowded cities, traffic, a lack of housing, and more competition for resources and jobs.

At this time, there are roughly 7.9 billion people living on Earth. The world’s population is anticipated to peak at 8.6 billion people by 2050 if present growth rates persist and measures to prevent the expansion are not taken.

The fall

Scientists anticipate that after the expected peak around 2050, the world’s population will begin to drop, contrary to previous expectations. Multiple reasons, including socioeconomic and demographic shifts, are most likely to blame for this reduction.

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The cause of this potential population decline will be linked to more equality, or rather, improved access to education for females and general economic progress, according to a paper published by researchers from the Earth4All collective (a group of environment scientists and economists).

Theoretically, as more people—especially women—get adequate education, the total birth rate should decline as more women are encouraged to pursue careers and are made aware of the costs and drawbacks of having more children.

The outcomes of the decline

Earth4All believes that this could result in two ways.

The first anticipates the expansion of the human population by taking into consideration a number of economic and environmental factors, such as the availability of energy, food production, income, and gender equality.

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In this scenario, governments around the world can be seen doing more to level the playing field for all genders in terms of education and opportunities, while also turning more green generally. This is seen to be more favorable, of course. 

The other less positive outcome foresees a continuing pattern that is more in line with the status quo, with world leaders continuing to ignore urgent issues and carry on creating communities that are vulnerable to collapses, both ecologically and economically. 

Overall, there is still much debate on the exact way the population growth and decline will pan out, but Earth4All findings suggest that the expected decline in global population may be either a good or a negative thing, depending on your perspective.

Initiatives are needed to deal with the problems of overpopulation and get ready for a decreasing population. 

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Governments, policymakers, and individuals must put sustainable development at the top of the priority list and make investments in healthcare and education, encourage responsible consumption, and put laws in place that support a balanced demographic transition.

I know there is still a long way forward, but as early as now we have to adopt a holistic approach that balances our needs as humans. In that way, we can navigate the complexities of population dynamics without worry and strive for a future that ensures our well-being, along with the planet we call home.

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