July 8, 2016 – Researcher: Population Growth will Slow
The Earth’s population likely will level out in the coming decades, said David Lam, director and research professor of the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan.
Lam spoke at the Economic Club of Traverse City’s June meeting. He told the group that birth and death rates suggest the globe’s population may stabilize or even begin to decline by the year 2100.
Population did jump at an amazing rate in the last 50 years. But widespread famine failed to materialize because food production sprouted faster than population, Lam said. Some researchers highlighted India as the area of greatest concern.
“Since the 1980s, India’s food production has way outstripped population growth,” Lam said.
One of the big narratives in population science now involves aging. Improvements in health care and disease control have reduced death rates across the globe.
“Especially in Europe, the population is getting very old, very fast,” Lam said. There has been “a huge shift from a young population to an old population, over time. There are going to be a lot of old people.”