World Population is Projection

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A new analysis published in The Lancet has projected that the world population will peak much earlier than previously estimated. It projects the peak at 9.73 billion in 2064, which is 36 years earlier than the 11 billion peak projected for 2100 by last year’s UN report World Population Prospects. For 2100, the new report projects a decline to 8.79 billion from the 2064 peak.

For India, the report projects a peak population of 1.6 billion in 2048, up from 1.38 billion in 2017. By 2100, the population is projected to decline by 32% to 1.09 billion.

 

The broad takeaways

  • IHME Director Dr. Christopher Murray, who led the research, said the forecasts highlight huge challenges to the economic growth of a shrinking workforce, the high burden on health and social support systems of an aging population.
  • The paper suggests that continued trends in female educational attainment and access to contraception will hasten declines in fertility and slow population growth.
  • For a generation to exactly replace itself, the replacement-level total fertility rate (TFR) is taken to be 2.1, representing the average number of children a woman would need to have. In the study, the global TFR is predicted to steadily decline from 2.37 in 2017 to 1.66 in 2100. The TFR is projected to fall below 2.1 in 183 countries. In 23 countries including Japan, Thailand, Italy, and Spain, it is projected to shrink by more than 50%.

 

Key numbers: India

  • India’s TFR was already below 2.1 in 2019. The TFR is projected to have a continue a steep decline until about 2040, reaching 1.29 in 2100.
  • The number of working-age adults (20–64 years) in India is projected to fall from around 748 million in 2017 to around 578 million in 2100. However, this will be the largest working-age population in the world by 2100. In the mid-2020s, India is expected to surpass China’s workforce population (950 million in 2017, and 357 million in 2100).
  • From 2017 to 2100, India is projected to rise up the list of countries with the largest GDP, from 7th to 3rd.
  • India is projected to have the second-largest net immigration in 2100, with an estimated half a million more people immigrating to India in 2100 than emigrating out.
  • Among the 10 countries with the largest populations in 2017 or 2100, India is projected to have one of the lowest life expectancies (79.3 years in 2100, up from 69.1 in 2017).
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