For The First Time In Centuries The World's Population Will Decline Over The Next Few Decades
For the first time in centuries, the global population is expected to fall over the next few decades.
Right now, the world's population stands at around 7.8 billion people, which is expected to continue growing until 2064 - at which point it could peak at approximately 9.7 billion.
A study has found that by the end of the century (2100) the population could stand at around 8.8 billion.
According to the research, carried out by The Lancet, future fertility patterns are key to estimating the future population size, but they are surrounded by uncertainty.
It goes on to outline that changing population size and age structure might have profound economic, social, and geopolitical impacts in many countries.
Within the 'interpretation' section, the study explains: "Our findings suggest that continued trends in female educational attainment and access to contraception will hasten declines in fertility and slow population growth. A sustained TFR (total fertility rate) lower than the replacement level in many countries, including China and India, would have economic, social, environmental, and geopolitical consequences.
"Policy options to adapt to continued low fertility, while sustaining and enhancing female reproductive health, will be crucial in the years to come."
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According to the BBC, if the number falls below approximately 2.1, then the size of the population starts to fall. In 1950, women were having an average of 4.7 children in their lifetime.
Researchers at the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation showed the global fertility rate nearly halved to 2.4 in 2017 - and their study projects it will fall below 1.7 by 2100.
Taking to Twitter, many people have aired their views, with one writing: "Children should be there because you want them, not because you need them (for your ego purposes, for the name/family fortune/pride/not to be alone when you grow old/need someone to take care of you)."
Another person added: "Women want more out of their lives than popping out babies and raising them."
A third said: "If nations really want more children, they should invest in families & the future. Meaning better/free prenatal, natal & maternal care, decent maternity & paternity leave from work, affordable childcare, affordable housing & cost of living, better public schools etc."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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