Predictions that the global population would level off later this century may prove false, reviving a debate about how to grow national economies while protecting environmental resources. So far, birth rates in Africa have failed to decline as exports forecast. Recently, a team of United Nations researchers revised global population projections and found an eight percent probability that the world's population, currently 7.2 billion, will rise to 12.3 billion by 2100.

In order for developed economies to continue growing, and lift global boats as their own tides rise, they should take in immigrant populations from rapidly expanding countries, argues Tyler Cowen, professor of economics at George Mason University:

Relatively underpopulated and highly developed countries could profitably take in young Africans and South Asians — and both sides would gain. ... Developed countries that can absorb new immigrants at a modest cost should have relatively bright futures. They will help enable a rebalancing of population that will help the entire planet.

While a continuously growing world economy could threaten environmental resources, developed countries are more suited to tackling such problems with technological acumen. 

When it comes to global education as an engine for the global economy, giving women modern skill sets has a multiplier effect, disproportionately increasing economic gain, said Saadia Zahidi, Director of Constituents at the World Economic Forum, during her Big Think interview:

Read more at the New York Times

Photo credit: Shutterstock