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World Population Day 2022: Which is a Bigger Threat – Population Explosion or Population Collapse?

World Population Day is observed every year on July 11 to raise awareness about global population issues. The Governing Council of the United Nations Development Program established the day in 1989. World Population Day was originally marked on July 11, 1990, in more than 90 countries. Since then, it has been marked by a number of UNFPA national offices as well as other organisations and institutions, in cooperation with governments and civil society.

Population Collapse

Population has always been viewed as a challenge for the planet and development. However, contrasting opinions and studies have come to forth that say that population collapse is even a bigger challenge, and steps need to be taken now in order to prevent that from happening.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk is of the opinion that the Earth is experiencing a “Population Collapse”. “Most people think we have too many people on the planet, but actually, this is an outdated view,” Musk said while on stage with Alibaba founder Jack Ma at at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai. “Assuming there is a benevolent future with AI, I think the biggest problem the world will face in 20 years is population collapse.” “The biggest issue in 20 years will be population collapse. Not explosion. Collapse.”
Agreeing to this, Ma added, “The population problem is going to be facing huge challenge. 1.4 billion people in China sounds a lot, but I think next 20 years, we will see this thing will bring big trouble to China. And … the speed of population decrease is going to speed up. You called it a ‘collapse,’” he said to Musk. “I agree with you.”
On another occasion, Musk asserted that humans need to procreate more to take life to Mars. He said that in a reply to a Twitter handle of Tesla’s fan club – Tesla Owners of the East Bay – which shared a query related to the declining population.
Musk, who is a father of nine kids, after the recent birth of twins borne by Shivon Zilis, the senior executive of his brain chip startup Neuralink, said that he is trying to set a good example. “Population collapse is a much bigger problem than people realize and that’s just for Earth,” he added.
He went on to drop a random message on Twitter which read, “I hope you have big families and congrats to those who already do!”

Global Fertility Rate to Decline

Musk and Ma’s timeline may be ambitious, but a recent analysis of United Nations global population data by the Pew Research Center predicts that by 2070, the global fertility rate will be below the global replacement fertility rate, which is the average number of children each woman needs to have in order for the population to replace itself from one generation to the next. There are 2.1 births per person on the planet right now. By 2100, the 2.5 current global fertility rate is predicted to drop to 1.9.
Although fertility rates vary greatly, the only region of the world predicted to have “substantial population expansion” through 2100 is Africa. By 2100, it is anticipated that populations in Europe and Latin America will be decreasing. According to Pew, the population of Asia is expected to grow until 2055 and then start to drop.
Rising fertility rates put a strain on some areas’ already-stressed social infrastructure systems, particularly in developing nations. However, a slowing population is a problem in places like China.
For instance, China now has a lopsided population because there aren’t enough young workers to support the country’s ageing population due to decades of birth restrictions (Chinese couples were required to have just one child from the 1970s until 2015), increasing economic opportunities for women, and increased longevity.
The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a group of local academics, warned government officials about the potential danger of population loss in January, according to a report in the New York Times.
“What are the socio-economic consequences of long-term sustained negative population growth? From a theoretical point of view, the long-term population decline, especially with the aging of the aging, is bound to bring very unfavorable social and economic consequences,” the report, translated into English, says.