World Not Ready For ‘Jaw-Dropping’ Global Crash In Children Being Born

by : Julia Banim on : 15 Jul 2020 16:53
World Not Ready For 'Jaw-Dropping' Global Crash In Children Being BornPixabay

New findings have shown the startling impact that falling fertility rates around the world could well have for life as we know it.

Researchers have warned that the world is simply not ready for the ‘jaw dropping’ global crash in children being born, with falling fertility rates meaning almost every country on Earth could experience shrinking populations by the end of this century.


It’s expected that 23 countries in total – including Spain, Portugal, Thailand and Japan – will see their populations halve by the year 2100, if the fertility rate falls below 2.1.


The fertility rate refers to the average number of babies a woman will give birth to in her lifetime, a rate which has dropped significantly over the past 70 years.

According to this study, which was published in The Lancet, women in the year 1950 were giving birth to an average of 4.7 children over the course of their lifetime. Hence ‘baby boom’.


By 2017, global fertility rates had almost halved to just 2.4, with researchers predicting that this figure could well fall to below 1.7 by the end of the 21st century.

The study authors have stated:

Our findings suggest that continued trends in female educational attainment and access to contraception will hasten declines in fertility and slow population growth.

A sustained TFR lower than the replacement level in many countries, including China and India, would have economic, social, environmental, and geopolitical consequences.

Policy options to adapt to continued low fertility, while sustaining and enhancing female reproductive health, will be crucial in the years to come.

Birth ratesInstitute for Health Metrics and Evaluation/Department of Health Metrics Sciences, School of Medicine

Remarking on the findings, tech entrepreneur Elon Musk tweeted:

Population collapse is 2nd biggest danger to civilization after AI imo

Speaking with BBC News, Professor Christopher Murray described these findings as ‘jaw dropping’:

That’s a pretty big thing; most of the world is transitioning into natural population decline.

I think it’s incredibly hard to think this through and recognise how big a thing this is; it’s extraordinary, we’ll have to reorganise societies.


As the birth rate drops, more people will live until old age, with the number of people celebrating their 80th birthday equalling the number of those being born.

The number of children under the age of five will fall significantly, from 681 million in 2017 to just 401 million by 2100. Meanwhile, the number of 80-year-olds will skyrocket from 141 million to 866 million within the same time period.

This aged global population could result in various problems, as there would be fewer tax payers and less people capable of looking after elderly citizens.


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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: News, Humans, Now


The Lancet and 2 others
  1. The Lancet

    Fertility, mortality, migration, and population scenarios for 195 countries and territories from 2017 to 2100: a forecasting analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study

  2. BBC News

    Fertility rate: 'Jaw-dropping' global crash in children being born

  3. Elon Musk/Twitter