On November 15, 2022, the world’s population reached a milestone of 8 billion people, according to the United Nations.
However, despite the overall growth of the global population, its rate of growth has slowed significantly since 1950.
In 2020, the population growth rate fell below 1%.
Additionally, according to World Population Prospects 2022, fertility rates have declined significantly in many countries in recent decades.
This trend towards slower population growth and lower fertility rates is important to consider when discussing the future of the global population and its potential impacts.
The majority of the global population, or two-thirds, currently live in a low fertility context where the average lifetime fertility rate is below 2.1 births per woman. This birth rate is below replacement level and puts many countries on the brink of population collapse.
If anything, many countries around the world should be more concerned with their low fertility rates and should aim to increase them in order to maintain their populations.
However, the UN did not seem concerned about the world population potentially decreasing.
Instead, the UN commented on the impact of rapid population growth, stating that it makes it more challenging to address issues such as poverty, hunger, and malnutrition and to expand access to healthcare and education.
It is interesting to note that at a time when the population growth rate is already declining in many countries, the UN is advocating for further slowing population growth and emphasizes the potential negative impacts rather than the positive ones.
As the UN is made up of representatives from all countries around the world, this suggests that many countries are interested in reducing their own populations, which is an unusual stance to take.
Based on the statements provided, it may seem that the UN views global population growth as a negative trend because it can make “eradicating poverty, combatting hunger and malnutrition, and increasing the coverage of health and education systems more difficult.”
However, upon further examination, it becomes clear that this perspective is not accurate.
In fact, an increase in the global population can actually lead to more innovation and economic growth due to the larger pool of people available to generate new ideas and drive progress.
In addition, a bigger population can mean a larger labor force, which can lead to increased productivity and economic growth. As a country’s population grows and its economy develops, the standard of living for its citizens can improve.
The UN also does not take into account the impact of government influence on the economy. It is not the size of the population alone that determines whether a country experiences poverty or hunger, but rather the presence or absence of a strong, free market economy, a good investment climate, and a non-oppressive government.
As long as economic freedom is present, poverty and hunger can be effectively addressed.
Instead of promoting depopulation as a solution, the UN should focus on addressing government corruption and supporting policies that promote societal and economic freedom to effectively combat poverty and hunger on a global scale.