The Lancet has a research paper that predicts the world population will peak in 2064 at 9.7 billion and then start a sharp decline. The researchers expect countries like China to see its population drop nearly in half to 732 million in 2100 from 1.4 billion today.
The researchers address the efforts to increase birthrates in Singapore as unsuccessful. They observe that a global population decline means that increasing immigration will be ineffective. However, they do not consider how extreme measures will become when countries and leaders are confronted with prolonged massive de-population.
Spain, Russia and Japan have been combating population declines and low birth rates for decades. The main tools have been increased immigration and subsidies for having children of up to $10,000 each. These have only had moderate success in temporarily increasing fertility rates by 20%.
The researchers noted the power of mass contraception adoption. They noted that if contraception was adopted on a mass scale in Africa the population in Africa would peak out at 3 billion instead of increasing to 5 billion by 2100. However, there are more extreme pro-birth policies that have been used in the past. In the 1950s and 1960s in Spain under Franco, there was a ban on contraception. Authoritarian control can ban the usage and availability of contraception.
The researchers do not consider that newer technology like invitro-fertilization could be massively increased and even forced onto the population.
Would Xi Jinping choose to have China with one-third of its current population by 2100 or would he choose at future times to a variety and mix of powerful policies?
* mandate a minimum family size of 2 or more
* ban contraception
* Recruit an army of twenty-million or more baby producers. Women who get embryo selected implantations. Embryos genetically screened for intelligence and other characteristics. Women who would have one child per year for twenty years until retirement. This would ensure 20 million new babies each year and they would be guaranteed to have superior genetics.
Or is the researcher’s scenario more likely? China has its population drop in half by 2100 and be on track for one quarter or less by 2200. China would accept having less economic size and power just because the overall population did not want children or only one child. Xi Jinping would accept a result he did not want because he would let the population choose options he did not agree with?
They are predicting China’s leadership accepting 100 million person declines in population every decade from 2030 to 2100 and not doing anything stronger than some baby bonus payments.
China had a historical population decline around 1840-1870. There can be decades of negative or low population growth and then things change in the country and it turns around.
SOURCES- Time, Lancet
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com (note: link fixed from two hours ago. Apologies for the cutoff article)
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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