General, Research, Technology

In the future, the world expects a decline in the birth rate. What does this mean for humanity?

I'm sure, deep down, each of usthinks about the future of humanity. Moreover, in a global sense, while considering a variety of options, including scenarios like in the films "Cowboys vs. Aliens" or "The Day After Tomorrow", for example. Well, it’s interesting. However, being carried away by fantasies, we very often forget to take off our VR glasses and look at the real world (and it should be). Climate change, the coronavirus pandemic, social instability, a trend towards increased authoritarianism and, it would seem, where they did not expect - a sharp decline in fertility worldwide. Nearly the entire US population will decline, and in some countries it will halve by the end of the century, as women have fewer children, according to a new study published in the Lancet.

In the future, children may face a lack of peers


  • 1 What is not customary to talk about?
  • 2 The future of developed countries
  • 3 Why do women give birth to fewer children?
  • 4 Coronavirus and family planning

What is not customary to talk about?

As the researchers write in their work, a similar trend could lead to a demographic time bomb when young population turns out in short supply, and the number old people continues increase, having a negative impact on the economy. But do not shout ahead of time "oh my God, we will all die." Nigeria is expected to reverse the trend and become the second most populous country in the world by 2100. And what's more - the coronavirus pandemic has also impacted family planning, with some women postponing pregnancy and others not ruling out the possibility of unwanted pregnancies due to lack of access to birth control.

In the next 80 years, the population of almost all countriesthe world will shrink, and the population of some of the largest states will halve, predicts a new study published in The Lancet. The reason for the decline is the fact that women around the world have fewer children. Let me remind you that in 1950, on average there were 4.7 children per woman, and by 2017 this figure amounted to 2.4... According to the forecast of the authors of the scientific work, by 2100 it will fall below 1.7. And when women have less than 2.1 children for each, the population as a whole shrinks.

The number of children in the world per woman is rapidly declining

In fact, researchers from the Metrics Instituteand the University of Washington health estimates predicted the world's population will peak at 9.7 billion in 2064 and fall to 8.8 billion by the end of the century. Thus, there will be no overpopulation problem on Earth.

When combined with an aging population, the result can be a “demographic time bomb” or when there are not enough young people to support the economy and the older generation.

This study provides governmentsof all countries an opportunity to start rethinking their migration, labor force and economic development policies to address the challenges of demographic change, says a press release IHME Director Dr. Christopher Murraywho led the study.

The future of developed countries

Projections based on data from the 2017 Global Burden of Disease Survey suggest that 23 countries, including Japan and Italy, cut their population in half by the end of the century. China will come close to becoming the country with the largest population, overtaken by India. Other countries, mainly Nigeria, will face the opposite trend: the study expects that the country will grow to 791 million people by 2100 and will become the second most populous country.

By the end of the century, the world will be multipolar, withIndia, Nigeria, China and the United States are dominant powers, and the influence of Europe and Asia will weaken, ”The Lancet editor-in-chief Dr. Richard Horton said in a press release. “It will indeed be a new world for which we must prepare today.

Nigeria, on the other hand, faces a boom in fertility

Why do women give birth to fewer children?

USA, in particular, reports a steady declinebirth rates over decades, with 2019 having the lowest birth rate in 35 years. The reasons for this are manifold, but experts say the continuing “baby bust” seems to be mainly due to a shift in parenting attitudes, which leads to more people delaying childbearing and having fewer children when they start if they have they generally have children. Teenage pregnancy and fertility have also declined significantly in recent years.

Despite signs of progress in manyIn terms of relations, the general trend has long worried some experts who say the US could be hit by a demographic time bomb that, in the worst case, could lead to the final extinction of the country's population. The new report suggests that similar fears could be extrapolated to the rest of the world.

I think it's incredibly difficult to ponder this and admit how big this thing is; this is extraordinary, we will have to reorganize companiesMurray told the BBC.

He and his colleagues encourage the liberalimmigration policies and warned against responding to downturns in a way that could include “women's freedom and reproductive rights,” the press release said.

A pregnant woman waits in line for groceries with hundreds of others in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak at St Mary's Church in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Coronavirus and family planning

Although the report is based on data collected before the pandemic, it has also influenced family planning around the world.

Many people in need of medical careto get pregnant, fertility treatment had to be postponed. Other couples are abstaining from natural conception as it is not yet known how the virus affects pregnant women and their unborn children. On the other hand, the coronavirus makes it difficult to access birth control and abortion, especially among disadvantaged communities and in developing countries.

One of the UN reports predicted thatFor every 6 months of medical disruption in low- and middle-income countries, 47 million women will lose access to contraception and 7 million will unintentionally become pregnant.

Maternal and child mortality rates could rise too. We cannot afford to look at the following10 years as a decade of "picking up the pieces" and restoring confidence in the ability of health systems to deliver essential services to women and children, said Mary-Ann Etiebeth, Merck for Mothers CEO, during a special WHO briefing.

But it seems that it depends not only on us.