Forecast for China Population to Halve by 2100

There is a new study of world population from 2018 to 2100 which projects global population peaking in 2064 at 9.73 billion and US population peaking at 360 million and falling back to 330 million. The researchers used new models to forecast fertility, all-cause mortality, migration, and population. The researchers expect far more success in getting a wealthier, more educated and contraceptive using African and World populations.

They are expecting the developed countries and newly developed countries to all have families with 0, 1 or 2 children. They are expecting China to lose nearly 100 million people every decade or 10 million people every year from 2030 to 2100. Nextbigfuture notes that upper and lower bound of the projections are insanely wide. They have China having virtually no children and falling to 456 million people in 2100 or having triple with nearly 1.5 billion in 2100.

The reference projections for the five largest countries in 2100 were
India (1·09 billion [the forecasted range for India is 0·72 billion to 1·71 billion],
Nigeria (791 million [594–1056]),
China (732 million [456–1499]),
the USA (336 million [248–456]), and
Pakistan (248 million [151–427]).

Nextbigfuture notes that there is no way that China would permit its population to drop from 1.4 billion today to half or less in 2100.

The researchers expect Africa will see more educated people and higher contraception usage. This was what the UN population forecasters expected around 2000 but Africa did not adopt contraception at the expected rates. The UN ended up changing the projection and expected world population to not peak by 2100 and for the population to go to 11 billion. 10.9 billion is still the high end of the 2100 world population forecast range for the Lancet study.

This forecast has such extremes that it will be easy to see if it is on track with population levels by 2050 and if there are effective policy responses by countries with populations that are already shrinking. Will Japan, Russia and other countries effectively act to stop or slow population decline?

They forecast a cratering of the global fertility rate to 1·66 by 2100. This is almost half a child per family below replacement levels. Nextbigfuture notes that it would take a massive increase in longevity to offset massively low fertility just to stabilize future population levels.

In the reference scenario, the global population was projected to peak in 2064 at 9·73 billion (8·84–10·9) people and decline to 8·79 billion (6·83–11·8) in 2100.

Findings also suggest a shifting age structure in many parts of the world, with 2·37 billion (1·91–2·87) individuals older than 65 years and 1·70 billion (1·11–2·81) individuals younger than 20 years, forecasted globally in 2100.

By 2050, 151 countries were forecasted to have a TFR lower than the replacement level (TFR less than 2·1), and 183 were forecasted to have a TFR lower than replacement by 2100. 23 countries in the reference scenario, including Japan, Thailand, and Spain, were forecasted to have population declines greater than 50% from 2017 to 2100; China’s population was forecasted to decline by 48·0% (−6·1 to 68·4). China was forecasted to become the largest economy by 2035 but in the reference scenario, the USA was forecasted to once again become the largest economy in 2098.

The authors have a scenario where everyone in the developed world reaches all of the UN Sustainable Development Goals targets for education and contraceptives. The global population would crater to 6·29 billion (4·82–8·73) in 2100 and a population of 6·88 billion (5·27–9·51) when assuming 99th percentile rates of change in these drivers.

Technical limitations and challenges

The model used multiple covariates, including many risk factors as drivers of mortality rates in the future and educational attainment and contraceptive met need as drivers of fertility. This approach is in sharp contrast to UNPD models, which are non-causal time-series models that do not include any covariates. Modelers disagree on whether the use of covariates beyond time is a strength or a limitation. The use of time alone as the driver has the advantage that time is easily forecasted, but has the strong limitation that, because time is not causal per se, these models assume that the correlation between time and true causal determinants remains the same in the past as in the future. By contrast, we explicitly built into each component of our population model the associations between drivers and the outcome, such as tobacco and lung cancer, and CCF50 and educational attainment. Explicit modeling of these associations also means that we can develop policy-relevant scenarios: what will happen in a particular place if the government invests in schools and increases educational attainment? The limitation of this approach is that each of these independent drivers must be forecasted into the future for the reference scenario. The issue is the trade-off between the benefits of modeling. The explicit driver compared with the challenges of forecasting the independent drivers into the future.

SOURCES – Lancet
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com

42 thoughts on “Forecast for China Population to Halve by 2100”

  1. It is a crime in Xinjiang to have more than two children. They are forcing abortions and sterilization. All while moving more Han into the region. It's a genocide, only intended to occur over the course of a century.

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  2. Those forecasts are pretty useless, they never take into account probability of solving aging problem.
    By current rate of growth of industry and knowledge in this domain, which is accelerating exponentially, I am quite confident that we will be able to reverse aging between 2027-2040
    Turning people in their 50’s-100’s into 20 year olds
    Rejuvenate their bodies and also minds

    Why those dates? Accelerating rate of progress in science, knowledge accumulation (also acceleraing) + very high probability of singularity taking place, achieving ASI or even just being able to achieve and mass produce in billions per day/week high IQ researcher like AGI and use them to create new knowledge around this time.

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  3. The current replacement fertility rate is 2.1 births per woman, which is less than the current global fertility rate of 2.5 births per woman. By 2100, the global fertility rate is expected to dip to 1.9 births per woman.

    If you want to turn things around, just pass a global ban on women accessing higher education and make religion compulsory.

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  4. Tinder with a labor camp if you swipe to the left too many times.
    Or a low social score could stop you getting ‘enchanced’ member search.

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  5. The problem is old age pensions; One of the reasons people rationally endure the costs of child raising, (And they are considerable, in terms of money and reduced options.) is to gain support in their old age. Pensions funded by taxes, like Social Security in the US, create the illusion that you don’t have to have productive children to avoid poverty in your old age. It’s an illusion in the sense that SOMEBODY has to have them.

    By making the costs individual and the benefits communal, public pensions assure underproduction of children.

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  6. Yeah, it mostly is genocide disguised as “crop failures”, and incompetence resulting from political favoritism. Also, a kind of “resource curse” where the “resource” is foreign aid; Foreign aid typically gets routed through the local government, so, perversely, when a poor country destroys their agricultural base, the government gains power.

    Actually burning crops is rare, there are less conspicuous ways to assure crop failures.

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  7. Japan had focal success in one community that provided some sort of free day care to mothers, I believe. I have to re-read the story, but it was at least something

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  8. I think there may be some unpredictable factors for Africa. Namely, effects of mass famines; Zimbabwe experienced this after they ran the whites off.
    The other is the ticking time bomb that is the HIV epidemic. Right now it is held in check by anti-retrovirals that have been very effective at maintaining control of infectious cases. Now, if the WHO and other bodies that are receiving aid from the First World for these medications, were suddenly cut off…well…you’d have whole populations wherein up to 20-25% of the adults have active HIV and large portions of them have uneducated views on their disease. Views like thinking that having sex with alot of women will get rid of their infection.
    What the HAART programs have done is swell the infection rates a bit, since the people with the infections will have less of a chance of dying off. So you will indeed get new infections, but the older ones are now chronic cases far longer than your typical course of HIV[which is usually about a decade].
    So…yea. That may change things.

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  9. A big problem they have is the gender gap. With the one child policy, boys were preferred over girls, so you had widespread cases of aborted girls.
    Now, you have a generation or two of young Chinese men that are all competing for FAR fewer women; women that tend to flock towards wealthy older men or even foreigners.

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  10. Exactly what I was thinking and now South Africa is about to repeat that.
    In fact, I don’t recall there being a widespread scorched Earth policy in Africa; certainly none contributing to widespread famines.

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  11. Vaccines cause sterility now? That’s a new one.
    Or is it that vaccines cause people to have more successful careers? Same overall effect.

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  12. In Zimbabwe they just stole all the land and gave it to political supporters with no farming skills.
    There is more than one way to wreck your country.

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  13. Bigger issues will be %age of workers -to- retired persons over the next 30 years, increased longevity with questionably increased working life years and possibly greater years of increased support needed from 20 years out to end of century, and alternative fertility/ reproductive items from 20 years out to end of century (mostly late age births, but possibly kids in vats for distribution); as a main driver of population change, stability, and demographics – mostly G7 to 2050, but more countries after.

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  14. That might be a factor but a lot of poor countries have high rates of all kinds of pollution and still have the highest fertility rates

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  15. This is just propaganda they tell people in countries with less people so they are not afraid of trading with the Chinese and Indians…

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  16. So long as the warlords give them a break, it’s a perfectly reasonable amount of people to feed.

    Hunger in Africa has always been about guerrillas burning the opponent ethnic groups’s crops to the ground and then cutting off the farmers’ hands for good measure. If they could stop doing that, then it would be easy to feed a population even twice as large as that.

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  17. “trick smart people into having children” We know how to trick them into NOT having children, drum in “small world” outlook all their lives, make them feel crowded and hopeless. Now, we can tell them about G. K. O’Neill and our future in Space, and they will see a different set of considerations altogether.

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  18. Every high-IQ country has now a sub-replacement fertility rate. To prevent global stupefaction aka “Idiocracy”, we must somehow trick smart people into having children. Or we can start using genetic modification to create children smarter than their parents.

    Overall, things are looking good for India, which has a good fertility rate. If India can remain unified, it will likely be the greatest superpower by the end of the 21st century. Also, India has some populations such as Parsi, Tamil Brahmins, Sikhs and others that are very accomplished.

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  19. It will be interesting to see how China is to go about encouraging fertility. So far there haven’t been any big success stories for pro-natalism. I have heard that the CPC has made steps to curb the growth of feminism in China and encourage the traditional family system. A few years ago they arrested a group of prominent feminists “the Feminist Five”, which seemed to signal a shift, though China still seems to encourage women to work outside the home, which is not really part of the “traditional family” system idealized by the party…

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  20. The Uighur population of China is 10-15 million–that is only 1% of China’s total population, and not enough to make a difference, especially since this is mostly a cultural genocide rather than an extermination.

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  21. The decline in fertility is not due to just social and economic factors. There are biochemical ones as well. Most significantly are the xeno-estrogens that come mostly from modern agriculture. Next is the large numbers of vaccines being given to children, often at birth, starting around 1995. Lastly, it has been suggested by several credible papers that SARS-COV-2 causes infertility in males via the ACE-2 receptor, which exists in high density in the testes. These papers have NOT been refuted. But they have been ignored by the medical community.

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  22. Both Russia and Japan have been trying to arrest population declines for close to thirty years and neither have been remotely successful. China faces an even larger problem (which NBF fails to recognize) which is the male/female imbalance in China. Females are your limiting factor for your future population. Beyond the numerical imbalance is the geographic imbalance (which the researchers didn’t even take into account in their models): The male/female ratio approaches parity in major metros (where birth rates historically are very low across the world) but is substantially lower in rural areas (where birth rates historically are high across the world).

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  23. “World populations” by 2100. A lot depends on the definition of “world”. I call planetarian future projections “Small World” because, to them, the “world” is this planet, Earth, perhaps plus a few other planets, Mars and interstellar. However, as Heinlein points out, the “World” is wherever you can GO. We can go to Space, so that is part of our World. So, if the population has largely moved into O’Neill Settlements by 2100, the Earth’s population could be quite small. That move would only take a few months, if Starships were like current airplanes, as promised long before 2100, and there were O’Neill Settlements to go to, again, easy by 2100 IF WE START!!!

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  24. Population growth has inertia. If you extrapolate using current birth rate and the change in current birth rate then you should be good for at least a few generations. I wouldn’t recommend extrapolating further than that.

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  25. Uighur have a high birth rate so their genocide will reduce the Chinese population. This kind of happens when you kill your own population.

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  26. “Nextbigfuture notes that there is no way that China would permit its population to drop from 1.4 billion today to half or less in 2100.”

    You don’t always get a choice about these things, (Russia had a significant negative population growth from ’94 to ’08) but it does seem moderately unlikely, barring China suffering an economic collapse and subsequent uncontrolled pandemics and/or war.

    I do wonder what China’s population numbers would look like now, if they accurately included the Uighur genocide, though.

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  27. In my opinion it is pretty unpredictable. Accessible developments in anti aging could turn things around as a lot of other unexpected events. Earth’s resources are limited.

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