PanamaTimes

Thursday, Apr 18, 2024

The world faces a low-fertility future that will 'completely reconfigure' the global economy

By 2100, a study predicts that 97% of countries will have fertility rates below the level needed to maintain their populations, signaling a profound shift in the global economy.
Conducted by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, the research indicates a coming world divided demographically, with the majority of nations facing economic challenges due to dwindling workforces and aging populations.

By mid-century, 76% of countries are expected to fall below replacement fertility rates, a figure set to rise by century’s end.

The global fertility rate has halved since 1950, with a steady decline in births observed since 2016. A significant change is occurring, with the majority of births by 2100 projected to take place in lower-income countries.

Elon Musk has expressed concerns over a potential "population collapse," viewing it as a greater threat than climate change, especially as some regions like Sub-Saharan Africa will see a rise in global birth proportions.

The study advocates for policies promoting contraceptive access and education to manage birth rates responsibly, whereas other nations might consider pro-natal initiatives to avoid critically low fertility levels. There's fear that decreasing populations could provoke restrictions on reproductive rights.

With only six countries expected to maintain above-replacement fertility rates by 2100, nearly all national populations are anticipated to shrink.

This demographic shift prompts a need for policies focused on economic stability, food security, health, and international relations, emphasizing the importance of women's rights, reproductive health, and global cooperation for sustainable development.

Experts suggest population decreases will be gradual, necessitating thoughtful preparation and innovative approaches.
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