Population growth would stop after 2050 as shown by the model

Estimated and projected world population according to different variants, 1950-2100 (billions, 2010 Revision). The model matches with the low fertility variant. (Credit: UN)

Main point:

Researchers have predicted through a mathematical model that the world’s population will not grow after 2050.

Journal:

Simulation

Study Further:

Researchers used the population prospects between 1950 and 2100 provided by the UN and developed the model to forecast the population in the future.

This research model has been developed by the researchers from the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM) and the CEU-San Pablo University, both from Spain, and showed that the increasing number of people would not only stop by the mid of this century but it would start declining.

“This is a model that describes the evolution of a two-level system in which there is probability of passing from one level to another,” as explained to SINC by Félix F. Muñoz, UAM researcher and co-author of the project.

For this model, researchers considered the Earth as a closed and finite system.

“Within this general principle, the variables that limit the upper and lower zone of the system’s two levels are the birth and mortality rates,” Muñoz pointed out and recalled the change that occurred in the ratio between the two variables throughout the last century.

“We started with a general situation where both the birth rate and mortality rate were high, with slow growth favouring the former,” he added, “but the mortality rate fell sharply in the second half of the 20th century as a result of advances in healthcare and increased life expectancy and it seemed that the population would grow a lot.

However, the past three decades have also seen a steep drop-off in the number of children being born worldwide.”

The curve in the prediction showed that the inflection point in the mid-1980s took place and the population growth started to slow down until it would be stabilized by about 2050.

Source:

Eurekalert

Reference:

Gonzalo, J., Munoz, F., & Santos, D. (2012). Using a rate equations approach to model World population trends SIMULATION, 89 (2), 192-198 DOI: 10.1177/0037549712463736

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