Wealth growth will lead to a worldwide population reduction

Fertility rates to drop as extreme poverty is diminished.


As of 2015, about 59.94% of the world population lived in Asia. The worldwide total population amounted to 7.2 billion people and the age distribution was as follows:

Between zero and 15 years old: two billion.

Between 15 and 30 years old: two billion.

Between 30 and 45 years old: one billion.

Between 45 and 60 years old: one billion.

Between 60 and 75 years old: one billion.

In 2030, the figure of the age segment from zero to 15 years old will double from two billion to four billion and the rest of the segments will also grow as a result of the population aging.

In 2060, there will be a total of ten billion inhabitants, but projections indicate that the trend will begin to slow down in the future. In 2075, the worldwide population will reach 11 billion and starting in 2100, a negative population growth rate will be noticed as a result of a decline in the fertility rate.

Large families: extreme poverty

In 2017, the average family that was part of the ten percent of the population which lived in extreme poverty had an average of five children. The rest of the population had an average of two kids. As the family income increases, the number of children begins to decrease, especially in countries with high infant mortality, such as Somalia, Chad, Mali and Niger.

“Once parents see children survive, once the children are no longer needed for child labor, and once the women are educated and have information about and access to contraceptives, across cultures and religions both the men and women will start dreaming of having well-educated children,” explains Hans Rosling in his book Factfulness.

Even religion does not seem an important element when it comes to the average number of children, as Muslim women have 3.1 kids, while Christians average 2.7.

What makes the difference is poverty, just 200 years ago 95% of the population lived in extreme poverty, and that percentage has hardly changed in thousands of years. If the ongoing trend continues, by 2030 extreme poverty is likely to vanish.

As Peter H. Diamandis points out in his book Abundance, access to clean drinking water, which indicates a boost in wealth, may lead to a decrease in the fertility rate.

“Of the 1.1 billion people in the world without access to safe water, 85% of them live in the countryside,” he notes. “Of the 2.2 million children that die each year from drinking contaminated water, the vast majority are rural as well. So a machine capable of providing clean drinking water for these communities, by boosting health and child survival rates, actually reduces fertility in the one place where it matters most.”

Continue reading