The great defining moment of the 21st century will occur in three decades or so when the global population starts to decline.
Many people are surprised to hear this. But the truth is that the earth’s population is not growing out of control. Instead, we are heading for a population bust. Humanity, made up of 7.8 billion souls today, will be hard-pressed to get to 8.5 billion before it tips into decline and will round out the century about where it is now.
This trend is not only taking place in a handful of countries – it is happening everywhere. The forces driving this decline are already in place and we are feeling their effects in many aspects of our lives today.
This paper explores the likely scenario of a shrinking and shifting global population structure, looking at the driving factors (including urbanization and the empowerment of women), related trends (such as the maturing mainstream), the possible impacts of Covid-19, and implications for societies and business.
You can read more on this topic in “Empty Planet”, a book co-authored by Darrell Bricker, CEO of Public Affairs at Ipsos.
You can also listen to Darrell discussing the key themes of the paper, and making further explorations into what the demographic trends mean for our society, our economy, our culture, and our politics in this 40 minute podcast hosted by the Ipsos Knowledge Centre.