A lot of people worry about overpopulation, but maybe it’s population decline we should worry about instead?
- Norwegian version: Menneskeheten kan risikere å dø ut hvis vi ikke utvikler livsforlengende teknologier
In earlier times, population growth was limited by the fact that the majority of children died before they were old enough to have children themselves. Illness and lack of resources has probably contributed greatly to the high childhood mortality. Today our technology is better, and so we are able to utilize the Earth’s resources more efficiently, and now, luckily, most people survive childhood. This has led to a population explosion. The greater number of people has led to faster technological progress, which is making room for still more people, and so on — a virtuous circle that helps to give human beings a better standard of living.
But as we have gotten better standards of living, the number of children we get has declined. Just during the last 50 years, the number of children born per woman (fertility rate) has more than halved from 4.9 to less than 2.4 worldwide: