Over the years there have been endless discussions on the world, its demographics and where we are all heading. There has been numerous analogies from various speakers, text and researchers citing the end of the world, population decline and economic downturn.
But, are we really heading toward a population implode? Is the world really coming to an end? Will there ever be a great financial depression or will we continue to make less and less children until the last of us die and humankind, as we know it, will become extinct?
These are some of the questions raised by many over and over again, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk back in 2017. Musk boldly stated that the world is heading towards a collapse. His statement lead to a widespread reaction.
It appears, according to various history writers, that in the year 1, there was a mere 200 million people living on earth. As time passed and we continued to procreate, this number gradually increased with huge spikes at certain times.
Take for example the year 1900, according to the writers at thoughtco, this year started with a world population of exactly 1.6 billion, however, over a period of 50 years, the world’s population grew by almost a billion people.
If we continue to look through history, all that we have noticed is a steady growth in the world’s population. The United Nations has corroborated this trend by giving a forecast of continued population growth. The UN has forecast a population growth of almost 2 billion by the year 2050 ariving at 11.2 billion by 2100.
This is where we believe the fear of an economic crises lies. In order to have a stable world economy a few things are needed, work force, consistent output and stable inflation.
What we see happening in the more developed countries such as the US, Denmark, China and Singapore, is a decline in their citizens’ ability to reach their country’s replacement fertility rate.
What this essentially means is that people are making less babies or not enough babies. A decline in procreation, if coupled with a short life expectancy rate, could lead to lessened spending power, earning power, less productivity (which means less output) and by extension a potential economic downturn. Will this ever happen? We are not sure, because as covered above, population decline seems not to be a real issue for the rest of the world.
Worldwide, the average life expectancy rate was 70.5 years according to the United Nations World Population Prospects 2015 Revision. However, a later study carried out by the World Factbook cites a much lower rate of 69 years (67 years for males and 71.1 years for females).
While life expectancy seems to have dropped of recent times, there has been an increase over the previous years. The introduction of technology in the medical field coupled with a generally more educated population has led to an increase in the past.
Education and Technology
These two features have worked hand-in-hand and has impacted the way we live in a major way. Our lives have changed from telegrams, to telephones and mobile phones; and this change continues.
We believe that it is because of increased education and technology that we have reached a point of having so many unanswered questions. Over 83.% of the world’s population over the age of 15 can read and write with the only less than a billion illiterate adults concentrated in only 8 countries.
Will education and technology be our enemy or our friend? Only time will tell but what we do know is that they have been good to us thus far.