Among the predictions for the new year, I found a video showing the direction of the world’s population growth. I was surprised to learn that in 2011, the 7 billionth person will be born.
Even more surprising, I found out that the world’s population may actually stabilize at around 9 or 10 billion people by 2050. It was surprising, only because I remember Malthusian predictions that this planet was headed for a big train wreck because of the birth rates. It turns out that it was mostly hype, and birth rates are slowing as we move into the future. In addition, improving technology allows us to support more people on fewer resources.
However, don’t consider this prediction to be very accurate. I’m not certain that they’ve completely considered the ideas of technology’s accelerating returns. Several people believe that medical science could allow us to live forever by 2030. If a group of our population actually stops dying, what happens to the future population growth?
I don’t trust long term predictions made by scientists. They prove to be wrong more often than they are right.