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We’re just 44 years away from “peak human” — when the world’s population will begin to decrease, according to new projections published in The Lancet.

Breaking it down: By 2100, the populations of China, Japan and Italy are expected to be half of what they are today, while sub-Saharan Africa will be home to three times as many people.

  • This forecast puts the global population in 2100 some 2 billion below the UN’s estimate of 11 billion, with the peak also expected much sooner.
  • It factors in greater decreases in fertility rates due to increased access to education and contraception.
  • Immigration patterns and climate change will change the outlook, the authors note.
  • As birth rates fall and life expectancies climb, the world's population will get much older.

The big picture: The global population rose over the last 80 years from around 2.3 billion to 7.8 billion. If that rate of growth continued for another 80 years, it would rise to 26 billion by the turn of the next century.

  • Instead, if these forecasts hold up, we’ll be on the downslope from the global peak.

Worth noting: Some of the spikes projected in Africa by 2100 are mind-boggling. Niger's rise from 21 million to 185 million is like starting with New York state and then adding California, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Texas, plus all of Canada, over the course of 80 years.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Sep 30, 2020 - Economy & Business

Why the real estate boom could keep going for years

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Even after reaching all-time high average prices and sales numbers not seen since the height of the 2000s boom, the housing market still has lots of room to run, experts say.

What's happening: There were fears in late 2019 and early this year that price levels had outpaced income growth and become unsustainable — but record-low mortgage rates and promises by the Fed to keep U.S. interest rates at zero through at least 2023 have lit a new fire under the market.

Updated 23 mins ago - World

Myanmar's deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi sentenced to 4 years in prison

An anti-coup protest in Yangon, Myanmar.Photo: Hkun Lat/Getty Images

A Myanmar court sentenced the country's ousted leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, on Monday to four years in prison on charges of "inciting public unrest" and breaking COVID-19 protocols, per the New York Times.

Why it matters: It's the first of several verdicts that could result in the 76-year-old Nobel laureate being imprisoned for the rest of her life.

2 hours ago - World

Pope Francis denounces European governments' migrant response

Pope Francis adresses refugees at the Reception and Identification Centre (RIC) in Mytilene on the island of Lesbos on Sunday. Photo: Louisa Gouliamaki/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis criticized European countries' response to migrants and asylum seekers during his visit to a refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos Sunday.

Why it matters: The pope said "migration is a humanitarian crisis that concerns everyone," but little had changed in the global response to displaced peoples since his first visit to Lesbos five years ago, per a transcript of his remarks. "Human lives, real people, are at stake. ... let us stop this shipwreck of civilization!"