The UN announced recently that India would surpass China as the world’s most populous nation by the middle of this year. This is only the beginning of a global population shift that will change the balance of power in the world in the next thirty years.
China experienced its first population decline in 60 years last year. Axios reported that China would eventually be in the same boat as Japan – an aging population and a workforce not large enough to care for them.
China is facing a challenge similar to that of Japan, where the population peaked about 15 years ago. The government has turned to automation and foreign workers in order to care for the elderly while boosting the economy.
China’s young population (17% aged 1-15) will have difficulty breaking into the workforce with 69% of the population between 15 and 64.
India may be the third-largest economy in the world in 2030. Its economy and population are growing the fastest in the G-20.
Apple and other companies are increasing their manufacturing in India. This is often done at the expense of China. A flurry of stories had already been written about the UN report, evaluating whether India would become the most powerful Asian nation.
But the economy still does not create nearly enough jobs to accommodate all of the new workers. In the UN report, more than 80% of Indians surveyed said that India’s population is already too high. 63% of respondents said economic issues related to population growth are a major concern.
The UN estimates that by 2080 there will be 10 Billion people on Earth. We can certainly feed this number. We are very intelligent despite what Malthusians think.
Today, growing food is just one part of the equation. The ability to maintain human populations depends on a decent government. Today, there is no famine that has not been caused by man. This includes countries that are affected by natural disasters or droughts.
The upper limit for the population of our planet is likely closer to 11 billion people than 10 billion. Even that is a poor guess. Predicting how much we can improve food production is a crapshoot.
We are witnessing a population explosion across sub-Saharan Africa.
Sub-Saharan Africa’s population is expected to double by 2050, reaching 2.1 billion people.
The region’s demographics look markedly different from every other region. In Nigeria, for example, 43% of the population is under 15 while just 3% is over 65, while the fertility rate per woman is 5.1.
In these countries, poverty and ignorance will hinder development of those nations. The number of refugees in that region has risen dramatically. The situation in the region is not likely to improve and, given the current circumstances, it’s only going to get worse.