When two of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Alibaba founder Jack Ma, sat down for their first public debate, they differed on nearly everything. The one thing the billionaire businessmen did agree on was the biggest problem facing the world in the future — not enough people.“Most people think we have too many people on the planet, but actually, this is an outdated view,” Musk said on a panel with Ma in Shanghai in August. “I think that the biggest problem the world will face in 20 years is population collapse — not explosion, collapse.”
“The population problem is going to be a huge challenge. 1.4 billion people in China sounds like a lot, but I think in the next 20 years, we will see this bring big trouble to China, and the population decreasing. The speed of population decreasing is going to speed up. Now you called it a collapse. I agree with that,” Ma said, reports Deutsche Welle.
The Pew Research Center forecasts that by 2100, the world’s population will reach 10.9 billion, with annual growth of less than 0.1% — a drastic fall from the current rate.
Between 1950 and today, the world’s population grew between 1% and 2% each year, from 2.5 billion to 7.7 billion now.
China’s population is expected to peak in 2031, while the populations of Japan and South Korea are projected to decline after 2020. India’s population is expected to grow until 2059, when it will reach 1.7 billion.
For three decades, China operated the “one-child” policy of population control. This was abandoned in 2016 in favor of a two-child policy to boost the labor force.In 2016, after the one-child policy was abandoned, there were 17.86 million births. This dropped to 17.2 million in 2017 and 15.2 million in 2018 – the third-lowest rate since the foundation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.