The image is a smooth line graph plotting global population projections from 1960 to 2100. The x-axis represents the years, marked in 10-year increments from 1960 to 2100. The y-axis represents population in billions, ranging from 2 to 11. Two distinct curves are shown: a black line representing U.N. projections and a blue line representing an alternate model by Tom Murphy. The black line shows population increasing steadily from around 3 billion in 1960, peaking at about 10.8 billion around the year 2090, and then slightly declining. The blue line shows a similar steady increase until about 2040, peaking at around 8.5 billion before declining sharply to below 4 billion by 2100.

Chart: Population projections from the U.N. (black) and Tom Murphy (blue)

When it’s put as starkly as this, it’s interesting to think about a post-peak human population as something that might happen within my lifetime. The article cited below was linked to from this one by Tom Murphy of UC San Diego, who created the chart I’ve used to accompany this post.

I’m no expert, but Murphy’s reasoning seems reasonable, and I’d assume that the existing right-wing ‘natalism’ is likely to go mainstream within this decade. Interesting times.

Governments worldwide are in a race to see which one can encourage the most women to have the most babies. Hungary is slashing income tax for women with four or more children. Russia is offering women with 10 or more children a “Mother-Heroine” award. Greece, Italy, and South Korea are bribing women with attractive baby bonuses. China has instituted a three-child policy. Iran has outlawed free contraceptives and vasectomies. Japan has joined forces with the fertility industry to infiltrate schools to promote early childbearing. A leading UK demographer has proposed taxing the childless. Religious myths are preventing African men from getting vasectomies. A eugenics-inspired Natal conference just took place in the U.S., a nation leading the way in taking away reproductive rights.


The alarmism surrounding declining fertility rates is unfounded; it is a positive trend that represents greater reproductive choice, and one that we should accelerate. A smaller human population will immensely facilitate other transformations we need: mitigating climate change, conserving and rewilding ecosystems, making agriculture sustainable, and making communities more resilient and able to integrate more climate and war refugees.

Source: CounterPunch