Earth's Real Problem: Future Underpopulation

Having hit the human population milestone of seven billion, the future we now need to face is not one of too much population growth, but too little, says strategist Sanjeev Sanyal.

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Amid the reflection provoked by the human population milestone of seven billion, Deutsche Bank’s Global Strategist Sanjeev Sanyal says the future will not be one of too much population growth, but too little. U.N. forecasts that world population will rise to 9.3 billion in 2050 and surpass 10 billion by the end of this century misrepresent underlying demographic dynamics, he warns.

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In fact, it is likely that world population will peak at nine billion in the 2050’s, a half-century sooner than generally anticipated, followed by a sharp decline. "One could argue that this is a good thing, in view of the planet’s limited carrying capacity. But, when demographic dynamics turn, the world will have to confront a different set of problems." Fertility rates are plunging in most countries, one of the shifts with big implications for global labor supply.

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