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Scientists predict a significant drop in the population of the Earth by the end of the century

The population of the Earth will reach its peak - 9.7 billion people - in 2064, after which it will begin to decline and will decline to 8.8 billion people by the end of the century, writes BBC News on Wednesday, citing scientists from the Institute of Health Indicators and Assessment (IHME ) at the University of Washington, who prepared such a forecast.

This conclusion is made on the basis of the analysis of changes in the birth rate in the world (the average number of children a woman can give birth to over her entire life). So, in 1950 this figure was 4.7, by 2017 it had halved, to 2.4.

IHME experts predict that by 2100 the birth rate will drop to 1.7. Scientists point out that if the coefficient falls below 2.1, then the population on the planet begins to decline, Interfax reports .

Japan's population peaked at 128 million in 2017. According to the IHME forecast, by the end of the century it will be reduced to 53 million people. The population of Italy over the same period will decrease from 61 million to 28 million. By the end of the century, the number of inhabitants of Spain, Portugal, Thailand, South Korea and another 17 countries will also halve.

The population of sub-Saharan Africa will triple by 2100, to three billion people. And Nigeria will become the second country in the world in terms of population (791 million people).

The population of China, which is now the most populous country in the world, will increase to a maximum of 1.4 billion people by 2024. By the end of the century, the number of PRC citizens will decrease by almost half, to 732 million people, scientists predict. In general, by 2100 the population of 183 from all 195 countries of the world will decrease, IHME expects.

Scientists explain that the decrease in the birth rate is due, first of all, to the fact that more women have access to education and the opportunity to work, as well as the widespread use of contraception.

In addition, by the end of the century, the number of older people will increase significantly and the number of children will greatly decrease. Thus, the number of children under five years old will decrease from 681 million in 2017 to 401 million in 2100. The number of people over 80 years old, on the contrary, will grow from 141 million in 2017 to 866 million by the end of the century.

One of the authors of the study, Professor Christopher Murray, calls such a transformation of the age structure of the world's population "enormous social change." The scientist warns that this could have serious consequences for the global economy.

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