According to a study conducted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), the world’s population will peak and then start decreasing in the second half of the century, with about 8.8 billion people living on the planet by 2100.
The IHME report, published in The Lancet medical journal, suggests revolutionary changes that will alter the balance of the world as well as individual societies.
And Czechia will be no exception to this trend, the authors of the study presume. The Czech population should reach its maximum of 10.6 million people this year, and then it is expected to decrease. According to the study, in 2100, Czechia will have a population of 6.73 million people.
In an interview with the AFP agency, Director of IHME Christopher Murray said that he considers the result of the study to be good news as fewer people will put less pressure on food production and produce less carbon dioxide emissions. However, the change in the structure of the population is a whole different matter.
“The reversal of the age pyramid will have profound and negative consequences for the economy and families, communities and societies,” said Murray, acknowledging that the study’s findings are not irreversible and that developments in every country might be affected by political changes.
The IHME scientists have concluded that in 2064, the demographic curve will peak at 9.7 billion people, but then, it will begin to decline, and by 2100, the planet will have a population of only 8.8 billion.
According to the study, the development in girls’ education and the availability of contraception will largely influence the demographics. While currently, there is an average of 2.37 children per woman, in 2100, the figure will fall to 1.66 children, which is a much bigger decline in fertility rate than stated in the United Nations (UN) forecasts. In 185 of the 195 surveyed countries, the average fertility rate per woman will be less than 2.1 children in 2100.
In terms of mortality and migration, the demographic development will vary from country to country and region to region. Economic and geopolitical maps will change, while the strength of individual countries will not be defined only by the number of citizens.
For example, China´s current population of 1.4 billion inhabitants could decrease by half to 730 million in 2100. The decline in the working-age population will then slow down China´s economic growth.
The biggest declines in population will hit mainly 23 countries in Europe and Asia, in which the number of citizens will drop by at least half. This group of countries includes Spain, Italy, and Portugal. However, some countries will be spared such a trend. France, for example, will see a slight increase in the number of citizens by the end of the century.
The trend will also not apply to sub-Saharan Africa, in which the population might triple from one to three billion people. With 790 million people (compared to the current 206 million citizens), Nigeria will be the most populous in Africa and the second most populous in the world after India.
The well respected Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation is funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In its reports, the Institute uses data from global public health studies.
However, its findings differ from those of the United Nations. The UN estimates that by 2050, there might be 9.7 billion people on the planet and 10.9 billion another fifty years later. Currently, the world´s population has reached 7.7 billion people.
Title image: People line up to get tested for the coronavirus in Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday, April 23, 2020. Czechs have been forming long lines to get tested in a study to determine undetected infections with the coronavirus in the population. Some 27,000 people aged 18 – 89 across the country will be tested in the next two weeks, starting on Thursday. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)