World Population trends are affected by many factors, such as birth rate, death rates, economic growth, government policy, and healthcare standards. The population is dynamic and tends to change due to any new phenomenon; for example, an epidemic can cause death rates to soar.
According to the United Nations, the world will have about 11 billion people when the century ends. The UN’s research in 2019 had reported that by 2100 the world would have 11 billion, but this projection was made before the intense covid-19 reign. Other researchers disagree and argue that the population will only rise for a certain period but at a lower level compared to the United Nations’ projections. International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis’ forecast depicted that 9,4 billion people will be inhabiting the earth by 2070 but “will fall to 9 billion by the end of the century”. Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine in Seattle argued how the global population will surge to 9,7 billion by 2064 and decrease to 8,8 billion by 2100.
Currently, the world is faced with a severe pandemic that has killed nearly 5 million people [Source]. This has affected the population in various countries as many citizens lost their lives. Also, humanity’s hopes are pinned on vaccines that the World Health Organization approved, and this is the only remedy available in the fight against the pandemic. But these vaccines are yet to be approved for 17-year-olds and below, which means these innocent souls are vulnerable to the virus.
This has deterred other couples from producing more children and bringing a child into the dangerous world. Researchers believe that the longer the coronavirus stays active, the lesser babies will come into this world, and this will probably affect the 11 billion figure proposed.
Also, the pandemic brought poverty to specific households where the breadwinners lost their jobs in the lockdown periods. It was reported that the wealth inequality between poor and rich has widened, with the number of poor people increasing. This factor might keep struggling families from having additional children, and they will most likely not consider it.
Governments are always in pursuit of keeping the population in check and ensuring that the people are “not too many” and “not too few.” Various policies have been implemented, like the One Child Policy in China and the Two Children Policy in Sweden, later revised to “Have Three or More (if you can afford it).” The more significant challenge lies in the aspect of “if you can afford it,” which has proved to be an effective element in controlling numbers in many countries. Because if one is poor, having many kids is regarded as being irresponsible. Developing countries’ populations are kept steady because of the financial situations where most communities find it hard to fend for themselves, so they have fewer kids.
Other researchers posited that the world population will reach around 9,7 billion by 2070 [Source]. Determining the world population is a pertinent issue for proper organization and preparation for the citizens. “Every government is interested in what is going to happen to their population in the next couple of decades, for pragmatic economic reasons and planning needs,” as noted by Tomas Sobotka, a Vienna Institute of Demography population researcher.
A headcount will help show how many people live on the earth, but census processes have been delayed due to covid-19 and the lack of resources in other countries. But it is estimated that about 7,8 billion are alive. Post-pandemic populations calculations are deemed impossible to carry out since the impact of the coronavirus was devastating and will probably affect the willingness of females to have kids.
However, some experts believe that births rates are gradually returning to normalcy, especially with the progress of vaccination programs across the globe. A 14% decline in birth rates was recorded between November 2020 and March 2021, and it is expected to pick up earlier next year.
A statistical modeler at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Leontine Alkema, commented on the precision of predicting global population over a long period and said: “It’s kind of an impossible exercise and so we do the best we can, and it’s good that different groups use different approaches.”
But all the projections concur that the world’s population will rise either by a billion or two over a couple of decades to range between 9-10 billion. And this might be true as people return to normal living conditions, birth rates are probably going to increase, and the population will shoot up across the globe.