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Foreign Policy warns of impending underpopulation, global aging

October 20, 2010

“Not so long ago, we were warned that rising global population would inevitably bring world famine,” writes Phillip Longman in the November 2010 issue of Foreign Policy. “Because of the continuing fall in birth rates, humans will face the very real prospect that our numbers will fall as fast-- if not faster-- than the rate at which they once grew.”

Longman notes:

Russia's population is already 7 million below what it was in 1991. As for Japan, one expert has calculated that the very last Japanese baby will be born in the year 2959, assuming the country's low fertility rate of 1.25 children per woman continues unchanged. Young Austrian women now tell pollsters their ideal family size is less than two children, enough to replace themselves but not their partners. Worldwide, there is a 50 percent chance that the population will be falling by 2070, according to a recent study published in Nature. By 2150, according to one U.N. projection, the global population could be half what it is today.


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