The world’s population does not seem like it gets talked about enough. And when it does, it’s usually by somebody with gloomy predictions and shallow understanding. To solve both of these problems, here is one of the world’s most beloved statisticians talking on the subject for an hours.
-Population hits a peak in developed countries. This is largely due to the drop in infant mortality rates inspiring parents to try having less children, contraceptives and education, and a general shift in cultural norms and lifestyle.
-The global population is estimated to peak at around 11 billion. The additional four billion people will almost all come from Asia and Africa, the least developed parts of the world.
-We have reached ‘peak child’. The population is still growing, but the number of children on Earth has reached its peak. The older and smaller generations will die off and be replaced by the younger, big generations. Once the current, peak generation of kids becomes the oldest segment of the population, the peak of eleven million will be reached.
-Our perceptions of the current quality of life in different countries is completely wrong, because the world’s development in the past 50 years has been drastic to say the least. You would be embarrassed at your results of a “which country has a higher infant mortality rate?” test.
-The poor tend to all look the same from where we’re at, the top segment of earners. However, a person living on less than one dollar a day (the definition of extreme poverty, currently on billion people), who doesn’t know if there will be enough food on the table each day, is living a radically different lifestyle that the person living on ten dollars a day. Extreme poverty can be eradicated.
-The bottom fifth of people (stacked by income) can hardly afford a pair of shoes
-The second from bottom fifth of people hope to buy a bicycle, a transformative investment
-The next fifth of people will invest in a motorbike
-The second-from-top fifth will buy a car
-The richest fifth of people can travel by airplane
-The few megawealthy can contemplate space travel
-The top fifth of earners currently consumes more than what we think is possible for everybody to have. Population does not have to be the end of us, as long as our consumption is kept efficient and low.