The problem with projecting birth rates into the future is the assumption that the current trend, up or down, will continue into the future. And while there are ways to predict the likely trend into the future, those predictions depend on assumptions that can be fallible.
The conventional progressive narrative that we have been subjected to endlessly is that without population control, the world will become overpopulated and everyone will be eating weeds to stay alive. Or people. The reality is more complicated. World hunger is usually localized to broken societies. Countries where starvation is a serious problem usually have corrupt repressive governments or no governments at all, just bands of warlords. India is one of the few countries where the size of the population, rather than the political and social system is responsible for food shortages.
It took humankind 13 years to add its 7 billionth. That’s longer than the 12 years it took to add the 6 billionth—the first time in human history that interval had grown. (The 2 billionth, 3 billionth, 4 billionth, and 5 billionth took 123, 33, 14, and 13 years, respectively.) In other words, the rate of global population growth has slowed. And it’s expected to keep slowing. Indeed, according to experts’ best estimates, the total population of Earth will stop growing within the lifespan of people alive today.
But both those advantages look to diminish in years to come. A report issued last month by the Pew Research Center found that immigrant births fell from 102 per 1,000 women in 2007 to 87.8 per 1,000 in 2012. That helped bring the overall U.S. birthrate to a mere 64 per 1,000 women—not enough to sustain our current population.
Moreover, the poor, highly fertile countries that once churned out immigrants by the boatload are now experiencing birthrate declines of their own. From 1960 to 2009, Mexico’s fertility rate tumbled from 7.3 live births per woman to 2.4, India’s dropped from six to 2.5, and Brazil’s fell from 6.15 to 1.9. Even in sub-Saharan Africa, where the average birthrate remains a relatively blistering 4.66, fertility is projected to fall below replacement level by the 2070s.
Replacement level doesn’t mean that the birth rate won’t be high, just that it won’t be high enough to match the population. So while immigrant births in the United States have dropped sharply, they still dominate overall birth rates.
Researchers at Austria’s International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis foresee the global population maxing out at 9 billion some time around 2070. On the bright side, the long-dreaded resource shortage may turn out not to be a problem at all.
But that’s because there was never really a resource shortage. The resource shortage is actually a shortage of births in developed countries leading to a surge of immigration which still fails to achieve replacement level once the immigrants have been here for a generation.
Earth has plenty of resources, but it takes new generations to develop those resources and care for older generations. That is where the jam is happening. Medicine has extended lifespans and lowered reproduction rates leading to the implosion of the West and the rise of the Muslim world.
if the world stabilizes at a total fertility rate of 1.5—where Europe is today—then by 2200 the global population will fall to half of what it is today. By 2300, it’ll barely scratch 1 billion
The missing piece of the puzzle is that people don’t stabilize. Europe’s decline opens up rich territories to be colonized by peoples with high birth rates. The colonization process is not too violent right now, aside from the occasion 9/11 or 7/7, but it will become more violent and the end result will be a duplication of the social and political systems of the old country leading to a crash.
Once Europe goes Saudi and women are locked up at home, but there’s no oil to fund subsidies with, there will be a high birth rate and a high death rate, especially among young men, leading to polygamy and a certain brutal kind of population stability.