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Major Trends in Population Growth Around the World The low birth rate ... a warning of its "impact on the world"

Major Trends in Population Growth Around the World The low birth rate … a warning of its "impact on the world"


Other figures, on the other hand, indicate a decline in births in various countries of the world.

The European Union's Statistics Institute, Eurostat, states that Europeans have fewer children than in the past, with France recording the highest fertility rate in the European Union, with 1.83 children per woman. Romania came in second, followed by Iceland and the Czech Republic, where women give birth to an average of 1.70 children. Other countries in Europe with declining populations—Italy, Portugal, Poland, and Greece—share low fertility rates, ranging between 1.2 and 1.6 children per woman.

The same decline was recorded, especially in Asian countries such as Korea, Japan, and China, which will give up their position as the most populous country in favour of India in 2023 due to their stagnation in birth rates. In a study published last August, conducted by economist James Pomeroy for the British HSBC Bank, the largest bank in Europe, she explained that "the decline in the global fertility rate means that between 2022 and 2025, there will be about 14 million fewer children in the world compared to United Nations projections." Pomeroy does not stop there. In his remarks, he explained that "the world's population could be halved by the end of the century, from 8 billion today to 4 billion."
 Europe and Asia...the most affected

It seems that many countries, especially economic powers, already have to deal with declining populations, such as Japan, Korea, Spain, Italy, and several countries in Eastern Europe in particular. According to Pomeroy, "Europe could see its population cut in half, starting in 2070." South Korea also caused a surprise in recent years by recording a decline in the birth rate, as the rate is now less than 0.9 children per woman, which is much lower than the worst cases that could be indicated a few years ago. He noted that this "could cause a 60 per cent decline in their population over the same time period."

A University of Washington study published in May 2022 predicted that 151 out of 195 countries in the world would have to deal with a decline in their population by 2050, due to "the extreme inversion of the age pyramid that accompanies the process of population decline and the decline in the birth rate."

The reasons:

Didier Breton, a professor of demography at the University of Strasbourg and associate researcher at the National Institute of Demography, believes that "the world is witnessing the end of the massive demographic growth of humanity, which began in the nineteenth century, and the beginning of its reversal." He notes that "currently, Europe knows, for example, that there are one million deaths annually, which is a staggering number compared to births." And he continues in his speech: "The twenties of the current century are witnessing great turbulence, as there are fears that contributed to slowing the birth rate, such as COVID-19 in 2020, the war in Ukraine in 2021, rising prices, the deterioration of the labour market, and global warming, which is felt more and more every year." And he continues: "This is in addition to the decrease in the proportion of women of childbearing age because between 1990 and 1995 the male birth rate was higher than the female birth rate."

All the elements that make couples want to conceive are beginning to "diminish," because according to Britton, "the decision to have a child is, for the most part, associated with an optimistic vision of the long-term future." He points out that "it is difficult for parents to accept children in such a world, in a situation that could still deteriorate."

Challenges expected

This sharp decline in birth rates may create economic headwinds, which will continue to affect economic growth in the coming years. Since the industrial revolution in the nineteenth century, economic growth has gone hand in hand with population growth, as the huge increase in the population at that time contributed to the provision of labour and consumers at the same time while ensuring services and financial balance. Therefore, the economist considers that the decline in births will lead to "a smaller number of active people and the labour force in the near future, which will lead to a reduction in economic production, spending, and the overall size of these economies."

However, he says, "This does not necessarily mean a decrease in the gross domestic product, as productivity per capita can rise enough to compensate for the decrease in the population, and this may happen with China, unlike Europe, which will suffer from population contraction." This means that "the older population will grow at record rates, which means greater costs in terms of providing health care and pensions, which is a major challenge to the financial situation of governments that are under pressure." In order to remedy the multiple problems caused by low birth rates, some countries, such as Canada, resort to receiving immigrants in large numbers, "but this does not mean that immigration stops the reversal of the age pyramid and the dominance of old age," according to the demographic expert's words.



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