Key Concepts and Terms
- A global population forecast is a demographic research tool that estimates the future size of the population.
- The total fertility rate is the number of children a woman gives birth to during her life.
- The population scenario reflects the future projected population structure for various factors, including mortality, fertility, migration processes, gender, age, and others.
- The replacement level is a fertility rate that is necessary to provide a population with a stable size.
A Summary Statement
The authors of the article explore various modern population indicators to make a global population forecast. They conclude that the “global population will peak in 2064 at 9·73 billion (95% UI 8·84–10·9) and then decline to 8·79 billion (6·83–11·8) in 2100” , (p. 1301). The main determinant of this process is the decline in fertility rate in countries with high fertility due to the spread of contraceptives and access to education. The changes are also associated with a possible increase in the population’s average age, which will have negative economic and social consequences.
Strengths and Weaknesses
The main strength of this study is the vast amount of data used to make the forecast. In particular, the researchers utilized data on age and sex-specific fertility and mortality rates, as well as migration patterns for 195 countries , (p. 1287). Such a wide sample makes it possible to make a fairly accurate forecast for the selected indicators. The main weakness of this article is that the forecast does not take into account possible changes in the structure of the population, as well as fertility and mortality rates due to the development of technology or other future factors. This point makes the research more descriptive than analytical, as it offers an estimate of the data from past years.
Question to Be Raised in Class
An important question associated with this article is what measures should be taken to avoid the potential negative consequences of global population decline and shift in its structure. This question is important because it allows one to develop practical directions for using the data obtained.
Vollset SE, Goren E, Yuan CW, Cao J, Smith AE, Hsiao T, et al. Fertility, mortality, migration, and population scenarios for 195 countries and territories from 2017 to 2100: a forecasting analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study. Lancet 2020;396(10258): 1285-1306.