Zeihan Predicts Population Never Hits 10 Billion With Famine and Wars Ten Times 20th Century

At the end of a long talk, Peter Zeihan predicts the World Population will never hit ten billion. The UN and others are projecting that world population will hit 10 billion in 2050.

World population is currently 7.7 to 7.8 billion. In 2017, the UN projected world population will hit 8.6 billion by 2030.

Zeihan predicts that world population will hit 8.5 billion at most. He thinks population growth stalls out with massive famines. There is also an implication of massive wars.

Zeihan is predicting the starvation or foregone population growth of over 1 billion people from 2030-2050. He is predicting unsuccessful biotech modifications to boost crops, no meaningful greenhouse construction and insufficient importing of food to Africa and Asia.

He is casually predicting famines and wars that are 5 times worse than the combined famines and wars of the 20th century. 123 million died in 20th-century wars and 70 million from 20th-century famines.

He is predicting this to happen in the 20-25 year period starting around 2030. There is also apparently no recovery after 2050. If there were no large scale famine and war then there should be about 1.5 to 2 billion more people from 2050 to 2100.

Nextbigfuture predicts the famines and wars at those scales do not materialize. Nextbigfuture predicts the world’s population will be slightly higher than the UN 2017 forecast. Nextbigfuture predicts the toll from famine and war in the 21st century will be at most half the absolute level of the 20th century. This will be in spite of the population increase. World population is already three times the WW2 world population level. World population in the 21st century will average about two to four times the population in the corresponding year in the 20th century.

On a percentage basis, Nextbigfuture is predicting famines and war take a toll eight times less than the 20th century.

There are really two parts to the Zeihan prediction. There is a prediction of massive famine and wars and a prediction that the increased death rate will offset birthrates to stop any population growth.

In the four years of China’s great famine from 1958 to 1961, there was only a population growth of 2 million per year in 1960 and 1961. There was a population boom from 1963 to 1971. China’s population grew by 20 million per year.

Birthrates bounce back after hard times. People have more babies to make up for losses of family members to wars and famine.

Zeihan went full doomer in his prediction. Never go full doomer. Doomers are always wrong.

The World Can Feed Several Times the Current Population

Nextbigfuture has covered how there is a lot of slack in the world and national capacity to feed people.

Average global farm productivity is about 6 tons per hectare. There are large research farms growing 17 tons per hectare.

China’s Yuan Longping has set a goal of reaching a rice yield of 18 tons per hectare by 2020 and is in a race with other researchers.

Deployment of the newer generation of seeds and we can double food production. Seeds that are at a reasonable scale.

In less than 15 years, we can globally deploy new rice and other crops to triple agricultural production. This alone deals with feed any population we could have by 2100.

More people can also be fed by reducing food wastage and eating more plant protein instead of meat.

SOURCES- Peter Zeihan, UN

Written By Brian Wang. Nextbigfuture.com

68 thoughts on “Zeihan Predicts Population Never Hits 10 Billion With Famine and Wars Ten Times 20th Century”

  1. What about iron fertilization of the oceans combined with open ocean aquafarming to increase fish yields?  That would address the protein shortage.

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  2. In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say globalism now, globalism tomorrow, globalism forever.

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  3. Friedman made the case about China that can be summed up as the following:

    China lurches back and forth between two states of being.

    1) Period of rigid central control. Central government is in charge, not much trade with the outside world goes on, etc.
    2) Period of openness. Trade/ties with the rest of the world predominate. Central government becomes weak as the coastal provinces gain more power/independence via wealth from trade.

    Invariably, the central government in #2 cracks down or gets replaced by one that does. Then China starts going back into #1. That is what is occurring now with Xi. The Chinese presidency used to be rotated between someone from the coastal provinces and then someone from the north (Beijing). Not any more. Plus, Xi is stopping further reforms and cutting back on those that have already happened.

    Also, at the same time the good deal they got from the Americans to integrate with the world trading system is falling apart too. There are layoffs and unrest happening in China right now just from the tariffs imposed by Trump. All this is both a threat as well as an opportunity for Xi to clamp down further.

    And then China has already started to get too old before it got rich enough to do so. Oh yeah, they got rich over the last 40 years but not rich enough. Not like the Japanese and South Koreans have.

    Friedman and Zeihan just thought that China would go the other direction a while yet before hitting the Xi lurch to #2.

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  4. On the other hand, Zeihan may have a point. All of these wonderful technological advances we read about on the pages of NBF can work only if the society in question is functionally competent enough to implement them. Certainly the Chinese are capable of doing such. Zeihan may be suggesting that the societies in question (South Asia, MENA, and Sub-Saharan Africa) may simply be incapable of doing such and, thus, will enter a malthusian disaster of famine and war.

    Zeihan is a well-known China pessimist. He believes China will ultimately collapse and break apart. Some of this may come from his previous employer, George Friedman of Geopolitical Futures, who has also made the same prediction about China.

    I think they are certainly wrong about China. Time will tell if they are right about the other three regions in question.

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  5. That was a general statement, not involving the specifics.

    And yes, they are going to continue to secure the Russian homeland. Doesn’t matter if Putin is in charge or not, it is a geopolitical imperative. As for NATO, it is definitely crumbling.

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  6. Ahhh…. but you are thinking like a non-Canadian when you look at a map of Canada.

    Canada has far more north-south links than transcanadian ones going west-east. In fact, just about every province has more transportation and trade going on with the US state(s) south of it than with its neighboring provinces.

    Part of this is because Canadian provinces have lots of area with little population in them, while the markets of their souther neighbors it is the opposite or at least more equalized. And Canadian provinces have more rights to regulate interprovincial commerce than US states do. Canadian federalism is rather odd compared to Americas.

    Zeihan covers this in his books. He spent time in Canada.

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  7. “Turns out all that environmental devastation humans have been doing is a real problem for humans being they get their food from the same environment they’re destroying.”

    Almost as if food production hasn’t been increasing while your environment has been degraded.

    “And then when someone says “the soil has eroded and the forests are gone and the fish are extinct””

    Right before that happens we will all say “Man that is one huge asteroid!”.

    “Aren’t futurists supposed to want to grow food in vats?”

    Please, hydroponics. On Mars and powered by nuclear fission molten salt reactors just like God wanted.

    Don’t worry we’ll leave the Earth to you in better shape than it is now.

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  8. “The problem is as Matt pointed out is that you never want to go full-doomer because they are always wrong.”

    Hmmm… almost like there are some underlying principles at work.

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  9. “Canada’s primary issue as a food exporter is getting food to market. Most of Canada’s grain exports have to transit the U.S.”

    And as we all know Canada is landlocked.

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  10. “Gotta love those Grand Communist Plans and how they slam up against the the reality of individual decision-making!”

    Comrade! Is time for newer grander plan!

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  11. I see no discussion of fertilizer. It was a critical component of the green revolution , will be critical in the future and is very limited (especially phosphates).

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  12. Both Zeihan and you guys could be correct and wrong at the same time. Here at NBF we read about all kinds of new developments in energy, food, and materials that ought to make it relatively easy and cheap to feed the populations to come. These developments are real. However, they require societies functional and competent enough to utilize and implement them. Zeihan knows full well that the developed and even much of the developing world is passing through the demographic transition. However, there are two regions that are barely into the demographic transition (MENA and South Asia) but are nevertheless entering it and one region of the world that is not (Sub-Saharan Africa). Zeihan’s predictions of famine and war are clearly about these three regions of the world. Zeihan may be pointing out that these societies are simply not functional enough to implement the kinds of technology we read about here in NBF.

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  13. “Experts” always say ~”we need to increase food production because there will be x billion more people in x years”. If you don’t increase food production then there will not be more people.

    Populations organically grow based on currently available resources and not future resources. 30% more people will not just show up one day demanding extra food. If there isn’t existing capacity to support growth then there will not be 30% extra people later.

    If u don’t want extra x billions people around in the future then u should support more co2 in the atmosphere, lots of various actions can accomplish this goal. Giving everyone a university education will work as well.

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  14. Actually most of the serious famines in recent times don’t rely on the starving not having money. Instead governments deliberately cut off food supplies to unwanted sections of the population.

    Chronic malnutrition is a sign of not enough money. Outright famine takes more.

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  15. Unless they were rich enough to have a private house with rooms for each individual. In which case they had servants standing in the corner overhearing everything. Because what are you going to do, pour your own wine like a savage?

    Privacy as we know it only started about a hundred years ago.

    Like the period of people making fortunes from recorded music, it was a brief technological window that would never last.

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  16. See for instance:

    • Sherwood and Huber, 2009, An adaptability limit to climate change due to heat stress.
    • Obata and Shibata, 2012, Damage of Land Biosphere due to Intense Warming by 1000-Fold Rapid Increase in Atmospheric Methane: Estimation with a Climate–Carbon Cycle Model.
    • Shakhova et al., 2017, Current rates and mechanisms of subsea permafrost degradation in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf.
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  17. Having said that, I realize that there is a black swan, with regard to climate change, winners and losers and so;

    It is possible that, with an extreme runaway-worse-than-worst-case scenario (also know as hothouse earth scenario, methane burb, at least 5-6 C warmer or more), say toward the end of this century or in the next, large parts of the world could become uninhabitable, i.e. too warm for our forms of agriculture.

    In that case there could be extreme losers with indeed mass famine (partic. large parts of tropics and subtropics), and winners in the temperate and cooler regions.

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  18. Well, yes and no: you are right that famine in our modern world is nearly always a result of political and social turmoil, not of absolute scarcity.
    But that just makes my point stronger :-), there isn’t and there likely won’t be an absolute food scarcity.
    And that is what this doomsayer is all about: mass famine as a result of absolute global food shortage, as a result of population growth.
    Well, that is just Malthus all over. Since him, the global population has grown over 7-fold, and there is just more food per capita.

    I am pretty sure that we will, with our modern means, be very well able to produce food for just 30% more people.

    I am talking about the combination of more efficient farming methods, making more land arable (tropical moist savannahs), more productive crop varieties, and utilizing land (the black soils of Russia and Ukraine!) to its full potential.

    If that combination cannot squeeze out 30% more, then we are really stupid and just don’t deserve it 🙂

    (Not even mentioning truly novel ways, such as marine farming.
    Or changing lifestyles to more vegan. With those two we could feed a multiple).

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  19. You are right about that of course and I should have been more specific. What I meant to say is: Canada is likely to become a greater food exporter;

    • If food becomes scarcer and hence more expensive, it will become more attractive to produce it. One of the nice aspects of a free marker society.
    • With expected climate change there will be winners and losers. Canada is likely to be a relative winner, with longer growing seasons in its prairie provinces, and the arable land expanding somewhat north.
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  20. Zeihan went full doomer in his prediction. Never go full doomer. Doomers are always wrong.

    Except for the crazy guy with the sign saying, “the end is near!” on the main street of Nagasaki, Japan circa Aug 8, 1945.

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  21. That’s not at all what he said. Zeihen said that the Russians see the demographic writing on the wall and would attempt to reclaim and anchor along certain geographic chokepoints. He already got that prediction partially right with Crimea.

    I think where Zeihen has probably nailed it with regards to Russia (other than demographic collapse which any fool can work out on their own) is that the Chechnya will probably be a problem again.

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  22. No, remember that transportation cost has been insanely high most of the time, think forward base in Afghanistan or South pole. Rome was an empire because the nice highway called the Mediterranean.

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  23. They can’t acquire the know how or the capital in two generations to do so. It would also require the consolidation of small farms into much bigger farms to get economies of scale. That’s not going to happen when your only skill is farming. There will be some migration from the rural areas to the cities but there won’t be enough to allow the level of consolidation required.

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  24. Yeah. I was just reading an article about how Chinese couples are not having a second child because they can’t afford to.

    So only like 50% of child-bearing couples are having more than one child, presently.

    Gotta love those Grand Communist Plans and how they slam up against the the reality of individual decision-making!

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  25. He said that Russia is on borrowed time to secure something resembling old Soviet era borders with the army it has within that time frame.

    He did not say they would succeed in conquering Eastern Europe, just that it had to or risk having unsecureable borders with an ever shrinking army into the future.

    And it was only parts of Eastern Europe. Northeastern Romania is not all of Romania. And no Czech or Hungarian territory would need to be taken, either. The Baltics, yes.

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  26. Starvation is never due to a lack of food, but always a lack of money to pay for food.

    I’m sure the locals will in future maximize the fertile black soils of Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Canada and freely provide the produce to those that cant pay for it vs the present where they let it rot if they cant find a buyer.

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  27. Another problem: it doesn’t matter if there’s agricultural slack if people don’t want to have more kids. The one-child policy ended in 2016 but China’s birth rates haven’t budged… and may have actually still declined a bit.

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  28. Nextbigfuture has covered how there is a lot of slack in the world and national capacity to feed people.

    But it isn’t distributed because we do not have a world nation-state. Nor will it be.

    Also, a lot of nations import food because it is a form of water importation. Takes a lot of water to grow grain, even more so with rice. Even corn (see tortilla crisis a decade or so back). So, many nations like Eqypt and Pakistan import water intensive staple crops instead. In a global economy, that makes sense.

    Thing is: globalism is going bye-bye.

    Lester Brown did a lot of work on studying this issue. If prices even go up a little, it causes famine in countries like Egypt (grain imports) or Indonesia (rice imports). This on top of the subsidies that those nations have in effect for those items. Food would still be available, just not affordable and people starve in those situations.

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  29. For what it’s worth, I’ve seen data on the Mormons that indicates their current birth rate is around 2.8 (circa ~2015) which means that, in the U.S. they are a very fast growing group.

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  30. Canada’s primary issue as a food exporter is getting food to market. Most of Canada’s grain exports have to transit the U.S.

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  31. Zeihan doesn’t need a famine or war to be right on population. He just needs birth rates in the developed world to continue plummeting.

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  32. That isn’t what he said. He said Russia would TRY to reclaim it’s geopolitical buffer. It doesn’t appear like they will be able to do even that much. It just means that Russia is further down the crapper than he expected at this time.

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  33. most of the people didn’t have much privacy in the middle ages. They had to live packed with their peers. Yes the government didn’t monitor them but your neighbors knew almost everything about you…

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  34. He’s an analyst who doesn’t go on mass media to hawk his positions. He speaks at relatively private (though large) events and they sometimes get posted on YouTube. By that rationale, anybody who’s ever had a speech of their posted on YT is also a pundit. 2 is true, though. Alright, I guess I’m wrong and Zeihan is a pundit in some sense.

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  35. Mail is still scanned, to look for suspicious contents. I get emailed pictures of my mail from the “Informed Delivery” feature the USPS has. But they also do IR photography *through* the mailpieces. I think they only use the data when something bad turns up, but the data exists.

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  36. Negative predictions always get people’s attention. Sells books too.

    Positive books on the future, don’t sell well at all. Though if we are objective, the positive projections have been more accurate…though very delayed (in the case of transportation, energy and medicine)…than the negative ones. The positive ones on communication, weren’t optimistic enough…other than AI to some degree and robotics…but that may be coming soon…no longer far fetched anyway. But there are less barriers, to get these things done. And it looks like medicine may actually start making an impact beyond academics in the next 10-20 years…especially with machine learning thrown into the mix to sort through all the mountains of data.

    Though one major negative prediction does seem to have become true. Privacy is pretty much gone. Everything is monitored…except mail because that is still unlawful without a warrant…in the US at least.

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  37. On the other hand, Zeihan does have a point. Egypt imports half of its grain supply. They were running out of foreign reserves at the time the Morsi and the Brotherhood were tossed from power. According to Spengler, they were down to less than three weeks of grain reserves at the time Sissi threw out the Brotherhood. The Egyptian economy has been on Saudi life support since that time.

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  38. This guy is full of it and famine war and pesitilence? really ? thats a prediction? next hes going to tell us it will snow in the future

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  39. This prediction is in-line with his multi-war and supply-chain breakdown predictions in his last book (Russian war, Middle-eastern war, and tanker war). The problem is as Matt pointed out is that you never want to go full-doomer because they are always wrong. You can go partial doomer, like Zeihan and Goldman (Spengler) have in the past, and have your predictions come true. But you never go full-doomer because its always wrong. There will always be some technology and business activity in the world even if other parts of the world really do collapse. Thats why you never go full-doomer.

    Zeihan appears to be entering Paul Ehrlich territory, although Zeihan tends to have much more reasoned arguments than the latter.

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  40. Just to add to that – Brazil, which is at similar latitudes to much of Africa, is managing ~85 bushels of corn per acre. If Africans can manage even South American levels of agricultural production, they will have plenty of food.

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  41. I would say that increasing Africa’s agricultural output by 4x should be technically possible – their current agricultural productivity levels are not very good; for example the average corn yield in Africa is 16 bushels per acre, while in the US it is more than 170 bushels per acre.

    That means there are plenty of low-hanging fruit, so to speak, that could improve that, like better access to fertilizers, irrigation improvements, access to better seeds, and so on. How well Africans can implement these improvements, is of course a whole other question. I know that various African governments have tried subsidy programs for fertilizer, with mixed success; corrupt officials have a habit of selling off the fertilizer to re-sellers, rather than selling it cheaply to farmers.

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  42. With the birthrates of most populations on the decline pretty much everywhere, it will be interesting to see various fringe groups with high birth rates, like the Amish or Hutterites, can keep up their population growth over the long run. If the Amish can keep going at their current rates there will be over a 100 million of them by 2200, and 3.5 billion by 2300 (current population = 225,000, population growth rate 3.5% anually, which is actually a bit lower than what they have had for the last 25 years). Anyone know if any other similar, tight-knit groups with high birth rates are setting up in other countries?

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  43. Shouldn’t be that difficult to predict. Once you account for rate of change of rate of change you should be good. Just follow the curve of the graph. By 2100 world population will be about 10 billion. Africa is where most of the growth is forecast to happen and unfortunately Africa is also where the possibility of large famines is high. Africa’s population is scheduled to growth by a factor of four in 80 years. Which means that their food production will have to growth by a factor of four. in the same 80 years. I am not sure that’s possible.

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  44. The world is a better place than it has ever been for a human to live in. There have always been people who thought they were living in the end times. They were wrong (listen to Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire”).
     
    The thing that most concerns me is Copernican Principle. Applied to the human race, I computed maybe three generations left at current numbers (less if our numbers climb much higher) and, if we have a catastrophic die off (say to one hundred million or less), we still only get about 17 more generations. 
     
    In other words, homo sapiens goes out in a big way in three generations, or something very bad happens and we kinda linger for a few centuries before exiting stage left.
     
    Then it occurs to me that Cro-magnon man would have gotten similar results; yet, though Cro-magon man’s days did come to an end, it is only because Cro-magnons gradually became us.
     
    That makes me hopeful that, whatever supplants us in the next sixty years or so, it’s something we are proud of and perhaps even proud of becoming. At a guess, I would say we will probably become a number of follow-on races: gene-altered man, bionic man, virtual reality man, homo immortalis, etc. Some of these will be divergences into dead ends, but I suspect it will be the folks that (because of cultural or personal beliefs) choose to live “off the grid” that will linger on as the last of our race for the next seventeen generations or so, constantly becoming ever less relevant to the main stream.

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  45. Before the year 1000, a lot of people tried to persuade other people that the world would end on that date . . . you know, just because.

    Also because they wanted people who believed them to give them stuff.

    I’ve been reading a new book called Empty Planet by Darrell Bricker and John Ibbitson. It’s been getting quite a bit of press lately because they argue that all of our population models are built on UN forecasts that are, in turn based on obsolete assumptions that are many decades out of date.

    In a nutshell, they contend that overall global population will actually be on the downturn in no more than three generations and that, once it turns that corner, it may continue down indefinitely. One can only hope that, at some point around a billion or so, it could be stabilized.

    So far, at least, they are quite persuasive.

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  46. A capitalist speculator predicts genocide, well obviously, they’re the ones causing it.

    That’s a safe bet.

    I bet this was one of the a$$holes who overextended himself on the NY Amazon deal and is now bankrupt and is salty AF. When maniacs like this lose on their bets, they want the entire world to end, freaking psychopaths.

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  47. Zeihen also predicted that Russia would definitely reconquer Eastern Europe within 5 years. Only he made that prediction in mid 2014.

    I suppose it could happen in the next few months.

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  48. t |  ˈpən-dət  

    Definition of pundit

    1

    : PANDIT. : a wise or learned man in India  —often used as an honorary title

    2

    : a learned person : TEACHER

    3

    : a person who gives opinions in an authoritative manner usually through the mass media : CRITIC

    What definition of pundit are you thinking of? Obviously number 1 doesn’t apply but 2 and 3 seem spot on.

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  49. Blah blah blah. Doomers were wrong the last 50 times they predicted the end of the world, but this time is different, because reasons.

    Come up with a new story.

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  50. So, summarizing, persistent poverty yes maybe in the worst case, but mass starvation, no.
    Even in (most of) Africa the main issue is agricultural development, not absolute scarcity of land.
    And that development is and will remain ongoing, because people are extremely unwilling to starve.

    For the rest of the world: if food indeed becomes scarce in parts of the world, other parts will eagerly increase their food production.
    I expect that South America (in particular Brazil, Argentina, maybe even Venezuela), Canada and Russia + Ukraine (+ maybe Kazakhstan) will become the great new food exporters of the future.

    As Warren Buffett has also mentioned many times, farming will be good business again.

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  51. I think Zeihan is wrong and indeed a doomer, and that NBF is most likely to be right here;
    Despite anything like climate change, we humans have proven to be very good at our own survival (even at the expense of many other species).
    Contrary to some doomers’ predictions, global food production capacity is nowhere near its maximum limits. We have mainly been picking the low-hanging fruit, so to speak.
    The fertile black soils of Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Canada are not nearly fully utilized. The tropical moist savannah soils (ultisols, partic. in South America and Africa), which can be made arable, are still only marginally used.
    And then we are still not even talking about marine aqua farming….

    What we can see in table 1 in this article is that by far most population growth will be in Africa, in the rest of the world it will be moderate to negligible.
    Most of Africa may remain relatively poor for the foreseeable future, but the continent does have land, lots of it, remarkably in particular the poorest countries (e.g. Sudan, South Sudan, both Congo’s, CAR, Tanzania, Zambia, Angola, Mozambique, etc.).
    There is an absolute scarcity of land (i.e. absolute over-population) in a few countries like in particular Nigeria and Ethiopia, but the continent as a whole has plenty of land.
    Including the moist tropical savannahs that I mentioned above.
    It is no coincidence that countries like China are eagerly looking for extra land in Africa.

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  52. You are literally the most uninformed person I have ever heard talk on this subject. You know literally nothing about the environment, agriculture, or industrialized agriculture. You do not know the first thing about long-term environmental damage. And you have no idea how to know these things; you think making a spreadsheet from numbers during Mao’s China is equivalent to knowing things about biology. And worst of all you have shown zero willingness to learn these things. Go to the library and read a book! Not by a politician or “futurist” (which appears to be a word that means “loud stupid male from a patriarchal society”) but by someone with a PhD in a real subject that the book is about who has not been completely ostracized by their peers. Just because you did a Google search and thought about this subject for 2 minutes does not replace a century of the efforts of the entire academy of earth and life sciences. This is a level of wanton ignorance not seen outside of the dumbest corners of the internet, like antivax moms and infowars.

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  53. “Zeihan went full doomer in his prediction. Never go full doomer. Doomers are always wrong.”

    If ever NBF starts selling merchandise, that would make a great TShirt slogan.

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  54. Turns out all that environmental devastation humans have been doing is a real problem for humans being they get their food from the same environment they’re destroying. When population increases, people like you demand farmers flog the land to feed everybody, and demand loggers deforest the countryside, and demand fishermen keep fishing until their nets are empty. And then when someone says “the soil has eroded and the forests are gone and the fish are extinct” you call them a pessimist. I wonder what you do when a woman suggests maybe men not force women to pop out so many of their ugly stupid children. Call them worse names than “pessimist” I suppose. Aren’t futurists supposed to want to grow food in vats? Because that at least would separate humans from the environment they’re destroying. There just doesn’t seem to be any realization on your part that long-term environmental damage is a thing. It’s like you skipped the past 100 years of environmental science. We have discovered that we are like spoiled rich kids spending both the (environmental) interest and the (environmental) capital of our inheritance to support our lifestyle. Environmentalists are pointing out, accurately, that eventually both the interest and capital will reach zero, and then there will be a lot of death. Paleontologists have shown this happening to many societies. Why don’t you know any of this? Why do you think talking about Mao’s China has fuckall to do with this?

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  55. There is a much more benign and positive alternative here. Total Fertility Rate drops drastically with economic development. We already see this in Bangladesh, most of India, Nigeria, etc who are at western levels. TFR drives demographics. Some researchers feel TFR will accelerate much faster than expected and as a result, global population by 2100 will be < 10 billion, probably 8.5bn by 2050 and then declining. See Lutz 2018 IIASA.

    The key assumption is women in the workforce and education. Once women work, they don’t want (that many, or any) babies, and know or can afford contraception.

    The real change in human demographics will be a big reduction in population, eventually. Japan, China, Korea, Europe, and the US will be far fewer, and quite rapidly.

    then again , there could be a global pandemic, an asteroid or other calamities. But the probability of ruin events is quite small.

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  56. The pundits always get it wrong, but Zeihan isn’t a pundit. Everybody talks about the spectre of the 1930s, but this isn’t 1932, it’s 1912. The only real difference is that the US already has the largest navy on the planet, rather than being an up-and-comer.

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  57. Hans Rosling is already dead. His thought, and looking at real projections, looks like the birth rate will start to be superseded by the death rate once places like Africa and India achieve greater industrialization which has had a shrinking of the family unit effect in the West. Who cares? Places like Japan with greatly restrictive immigration which will lead to a collapse of their society if it’s not reversed. Want an island that’s pre-built with infrastructure? Just wait a hundred or so years.

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  58. ok. Hans Rosling thinks the World will never go above 11 billion… both of these guys will die before (or if) they are proven wrong. Bottom line, who cares?
    I watched that vid a few days back, I like Peter, he’s not afraid of making predictions.

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