Soon 10 billion people? – The world population is growing faster than expected

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Soon 10 billion people?  – The world population is growing faster than expected

According to a new study, by 2065, under the most ‘realistic’ scenario for the Earth’s social, economic and climate development, more than ten billion people will live on Earth. Excitingly, overall higher levels of education will increase birth rates less than expected in some parts of the world.

Assuming that global warming does not make many areas more or less uninhabitable, the signs now indicate that Earth will, at least for some time, be home to more than ten billion people. That alone is no reason to panic, researcher Anne Goujon explains: ‘I am not afraid of the number of people, but of what they do.’ If the world manages to live more sustainably, innovatively, community-oriented and, by then, more environmentally conscious, that is possible. “I believe in human intelligence,” said the expert.

In a working paper, scientists from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg near Vienna and from the Vienna Wittgenstein Center for Demography and Global Human Capital (WIC) have revised their forecast for the development of the world population after 2018, which was published in 2013 was made for the second time. The recently published work, simply titled ‘WIC2023’, incorporates new population, education or migration data and the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic or the war in Ukraine.

Different scenarios
The team’s calculations are based on the so-called ‘Shared Socioeconomic Pathways’ (SSPs), in which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) describes different development paths until the year 2100, which will then lead to different greenhouse gas concentrations in the future. the atmosphere. The work is based on the most likely scenario from today’s perspective – called ‘middle path’, ‘continuation of current development’ or ‘SSP2’ – in which global income distribution becomes more divergent and international cooperation improves only slightly and the environmental situation continues to deteriorate and the world population is growing moderately. However, there are also other scenarios in which the world remains on the “fossil path”, which would mean significantly greater global warming and a correspondingly significant decline in the world’s population.

Peak expected in 2080
According to demographers, under the SSP2 assumption, based on the currently estimated just over eight billion people worldwide, there would be a slow but long-term increase in population. According to the forecast, just over ten billion people would live on Earth for the first time in the period 2065 to 2070. Development will reach its peak between 2080 and 2085 with approximately 10.13 billion people on Earth. A decline to about 9.88 billion people is expected by the end of the century. Asia would then have almost 4.5 billion inhabitants, Africa more than 3.5, Europe 671 million, Latin and North America 669 and 450 million respectively and Oceania 62 million. This means that the values ​​are well above the 2013 forecast.

Infant mortality is declining
The relatively large differences with previous predictions can mainly be explained by the fact that child mortality in many countries in the South has fortunately fallen more sharply than expected. In southern Africa, for example, this is “the result of vaccination campaigns, international aid and improved hygiene,” says the demographer. Moreover, it was actually assumed that birth rates would fall more sharply than has recently been observed in many of these countries, as education levels tend to rise. In some countries, little has changed: “We had not anticipated that.” In Pakistan, for example, a census was held for the first time since the 1990s in 2017 – with the result that assumptions about the population there by 2100 were increased by as much as 150 to raise millions, also because birth rates there even rose for a short time used to go.

Source: Krone

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