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Elon Musk Reckons Earth Can Sustain A Human Population Far Higher Than The Current 8 Billion

Charisa Bossinakis

| Last updated 

Elon Musk Reckons Earth Can Sustain A Human Population Far Higher Than The Current 8 Billion

Despite growing fears of world hunger and climate change, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk believes Earth can sustain a population of far more than 8 million people. 

The billionaire spoke with Mathias Döpfner in a 45-minute interview where he revealed some truly bizarre insights about the human population.

He said on Welt: "Most people in the world are operating under the false impression that we've got too many people. This is not true. Earth could maintain a population many times the current level. The birth rate has been dropping like crazy."


He also blamed the United Nations’ (UN) ‘ridiculous’ birth rate population estimates for providing a false narrative that the Earth is overpopulated.

He said: “So, unfortunately, we have these ridiculous population estimates from the UN that need to be updated cause they just don’t make any sense.”

Thomas Malthus must be rolling in his grave right about now.

The 18th-century poet founded Malthusianism, which theorises the dire future of humanity and the innate need to reproduce, which he said would ultimately lead to overpopulation, resulting in limited resources and mass famine. 


The United Nations has also warned of the implications of overpopulation as ‘economic development, employment, income distribution and social protections’ will subsequently suffer.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

They also wrote via their website: “[The population trends] also affect efforts to ensure universal access to health care, education, housing, sanitation, water, food and energy.”

“To more sustainably address the needs of individuals, policymakers must understand how many people are living on the planet, where they are, how old they are, and how many people will come after them.”


ABC News reports that if humans want to keep living without making any changes to combat climate change, Earth would only sustain long-term with 1.9 billion people.

Alternatively, we would have to find three more planets where humans could survive. 

And this is where Musk could help.

Musk has entertained the possibility of life on Mars, however, he warned the first settler’s arrival on the fourth planet from the sun would not be ‘luxurious’.


Earlier this week, he told the head of TED conferences Chris Anderson: “The sales pitch for going to Mars is, ‘it’s dangerous, it’s cramped, you might not make it back. It’s difficult, it’s hard work.’ That’s the sales pitch. But it’ll be glorious.”

The SpaceX CEO is also currently building a Starship aircraft that has its sight to land on the red planet by 2029.

Featured Image Credit: J Marshall - Tribaleye Images/Alamy. Paul Marriott/Alamy

Topics: News, Elon Musk, World News, Science, Space

Charisa Bossinakis
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