Researchers have observed a fall in the global fertility rate and by the end of this century, the population of every country will experience a significant reduction.
Due to the declining fertility rate, over 20 nations, including Spain and Japan are expected to see their populations halve by 2100.
There will be an increase in the global ageing population. Several countries will have high percentages of their citizens aged 65 years and over as well.
The main reason why there is a fall in the fertility rate is that the average number of children a woman gives birth to has drastically decreased. According to researchers, if a woman has less than 2 children, the size of the population starts to fall. Nowadays, with the ease of access to contraception, women chose to have fewer children, thus a drop in the population density is inevitable.
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The implications of a low fertility rate and an aging population will have a significant impact on future generations. Unlike the popular belief that a smaller population is better, a decrease in childbirth will have negative consequences both socially and economically.
There will be more people to benefit from the old-age pension but fewer people paying income taxes. Moreover, there will be a rise in healthcare costs. According to studies, people over 65 years are likely to have at least one chronic disease that requires long term care, so who will provide healthcare and look after the elderly?
However, fighting against low fertility rate will not be an easy task. Prof Stein Emil Vollset said: “Responding to population decline is likely to become an overriding policy concern in many nations, but must not compromise efforts to enhance women’s reproductive health or progress on women’s rights.”
As a reminder, the country with the oldest population is Japan, with 27% of its citizens already over the age of 65. Next on this list is Italy, with 23% of its population being 65 years of age or older and is closely followed by Germany and Portugal.