TIMES.KY

Cayman Islands, Caribbeanand International News
Wednesday, Jul 24, 2024

One week after Elon Musk talked about an ‘underpopulation crisis,’ the UN says the world population is set to continue growing until 2100

One week after Elon Musk talked about an ‘underpopulation crisis,’ the UN says the world population is set to continue growing until 2100

The latest UN population report pours cold water on Elon Musk's fears that declining birth rates will lead to "population collapse."

Last week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that declining birth rates present “the biggest danger civilization faces by far.” But it looks like it will be a few decades at least before population collapse will begin posing a problem.

A new report by the United Nations released on Monday says that while the rate of new people being born around the world is certainly slowing down, the global population is expected to continue growing for many more decades.

That seems to contradict Elon Musk’s warnings that underpopulation and declining birth rates present an imminent existential threat to our civilization.

Musk is now reportedly the parent of nine known children from three women, after Insider broke news last week that he had secretly fathered twins with Shivon Zilis, a top executive at his neurotechnology company Neuralink.

Musk seemed to confirm that the children were his with a tweet saying he was “doing my best to help curb the underpopulation crisis.” But the tongue-and-cheek response is just the latest in a long series of musings by the tech entrepreneur on the future of humanity’s population growth rate, and the risk of an imminent “population collapse.”

“The biggest problem the world will face in 20 years is population collapse,” Musk said in 2019, referring to evidence of multiple countries around the world experiencing an accelerating decline in birth rates.

Here’s what the United Nations has to say on global population growth’s prospects.


An underpopulation crisis?


Musk is right in that the global pace of population growth is starting to slow, and that fertility rates in several countries—including the U.S.—are dropping, but the world is hardly running the risk of having fewer people.

The UN expects the global population to reach 8.5 billion in 2030 and 9.7 billion in 2050. By the end of the century, the organization estimates that there will be 10.4 billion people on the planet.

Last year, the U.S. birth rate fell to its lowest point in over a century, while recent census data suggests that the population of older adults could begin to outnumber children before 2040. Other countries, including Japan, China, and South Korea, have also seen record drops in birth rates in recent years.

But declining fertility rates—the average number of children a woman in a specific country is expected to have over her lifetime—are not necessarily a sign of coming population collapse.

“With roughly 83 million people being added to the world’s population every year, the upward trend in population size is expected to continue, even assuming that fertility levels will continue to decline,” the UN wrote about its 2017 population forecast report.


Birth rates are only part of the story


Musk has warned that declining birth rates and aging populations are some of his biggest concerns for the future of humanity, and several countries are indeed experiencing some important demographic shifts.

The 2022 UN report forecasted that 61 countries are likely to experience a 1% drop in population by 2050, largely in countries with developed economies seeing a slowdown in fertility rates.

But other countries are expected to see their population explode in the coming decades, according to the UN, eight of which will be responsible for more than half of the projected growth in global population from now to 2050: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and the United Republic of Tanzania. India is expected to surpass China as the world’s most populous country as soon as next year.

Elon Musk’s views on population have largely been at odds with those of the scientific community, who have pointed out that fast population growth in Africa and South Asia will likely exacerbate existing challenges surrounding food insecurity in these regions.

In 2020, the UN warned that 820 million people in the world experience hunger on a daily basis, and that growing populations in vulnerable regions could see higher rates of hunger in the coming decades due to climate change, biodiversity loss, water scarcity, and pollution.

Even in high-income countries with low fertility rates, immigration from parts of the world with much higher birth rates will likely make up for the fewer births, the report says.

“Over the next few decades, migration will be the sole driver of population growth in high-income countries. By contrast, for the foreseeable future, population increase in low-income and lower-middle-income countries will continue to be driven by an excess of births over deaths,” the UN wrote.

Newsletter

Related Articles

TIMES.KY
0:00
0:00
Close
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Israel: Unprecedented Civil Disobedience Looms as IDF Reservists Protest Judiciary Reform
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
Europe is boiling: Extreme Weather Conditions Prevail Across the Continent
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Italian Court's Controversial Ruling on Sexual Harassment Ignites Uproar
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
BBC Personalities Rebuke Accusations Amidst Scandal Involving Teen Exploitation
A Swift Disappointment: Why Is Taylor Swift Bypassing Canada on Her Global Tour?
Historic Moment: Edgars Rinkevics, EU's First Openly Gay Head of State, Takes Office as Latvia's President
Bye bye democracy, human rights, freedom: French Cops Can Now Secretly Activate Phone Cameras, Microphones And GPS To Spy On Citizens
The Poor Man With Money, Mark Zuckerberg, Unveils Twitter Replica with Heavy-Handed Censorship: A New Low in Innovation?
Unilever Plummets in a $2.5 Billion Free Fall, to begin with: A Reckoning for Misuse of Corporate Power Against National Interest
Beyond the Blame Game: The Need for Nuanced Perspectives on America's Complex Reality
Twitter Targets Meta: A Tangle of Trade Secrets and Copycat Culture
The Double-Edged Sword of AI: AI is linked to layoffs in industry that created it
US Sanctions on China's Chip Industry Backfire, Prompting Self-Inflicted Blowback
Meta Copy Twitter with New App, Threads
The New French Revolution
BlackRock Bitcoin ETF Application Refiled, Naming Coinbase as ‘Surveillance-Sharing’ Partner
×