The world population may stop growing after 2040

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According to a new forecast, the world’s population could peak at 8.5 billion people by as early as 2040 and decline to about six billion by the end of the century. However, that would require a “giant leap” in investment in economic development, education and health, according to the international initiative Earth4All. The UN assumes a peak of about 10.4 billion people only in 2080.

According to UN figures, the world population cracked the eight billion mark in November. The six billion people world population last around the year 2000.

Two scenarios for the future
The Earth4All researchers draw two possible scenarios for the future in the working paper “People and Planet,” published Monday. First, the world continues to develop economically, similarly to the past 50 years. Then the population will reach its peak by 2050, the analysis says. In the second scenario, it could even be called as early as 2040 if, among other things, there were a greater investment in the fight against poverty. In addition to prominent population forecasts, the importance of rapid economic development is often underestimated, the Earth4All experts are convinced.

“We know that rapid economic development in low-income countries has a huge impact on fertility rates,” said Per Espen Stoknes, director of the Earth4All project. “Fertility rates go down when girls have access to education and women are economically empowered and have access to better health care.”

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