Anthony Hilton: Why the global population won’t spiral out of control
Saturday 01 February 2014
A few weeks back I saw a fascinating TV lecture by the Swedish professor Hans Rosling on how most of our assumptions about population, birth rates and the changes in the wealth of the world are out of date or just plain wrong.
On Thursday in Davos, at a conference organised by Aberdeen Asset Management, I heard him deliver the same message equally brilliantly.
His core message is that in the world today women are having on average just 2.2 babies – even in Bangladesh. They used to have six because they expected four to die, but they now know that medical advances –four out of five children on the planet are injected against measles – mean their babies should survive. So they settle for two because they only want a number they can afford and educate.
Once the birth rate is stable, the overall population rate will also eventually stabilise and stop growing as predicted, within the lifespan of today’s children.
Second, he believes that the bulk of the world’s people have already become materially better off in the last 30 years but the real impact of globalisation has only just begun, because they are still well behind the income levels of the West. People are now buying their first fridges – but imagine the commercial implications of what happens when they can buy all the other “stuff”.
Third, the population of Africa will certainly double to 2 billion and may go to 3 billion. Then four fifths of the world’s population will be in Asia and Africa. The entire pattern of world trade will shift. The Atlantic becomes a backwater; the Indian Ocean booms. The message: if you want to give your grandchildren a real inheritance, buy a slice of beach by that ocean.
- 1 Kylie Jenner challenge: Bizarre lip suction device inspired by Kardashian sister goes viral
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Katie Hopkins and The Sun editor are reported to police for incitement to racial hatred following migrant boat column
- 4 Bruce Forsyth backs assisted dying campaign: 'If I had Alzheimer's or dementia I would do something about it'
- 5 Giorgio Armani criticises the way some gay men dress saying 'a man has to be a man'
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
iJobs Money & Business
£30 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst with experienc...
£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£21000 - £24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged b...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...