Paul Lachine

人口增长的终点

新德里——根据联合国人口司的数据,10月31日,世界人口总量已经突破了70亿大关。与往常一样,这样一个里程碑成了众多会议、讨论会和研究论文的主题,其中就包括悲观的马尔萨斯预言。毕竟,据联合国预测,世界人口将在2050年达到93亿,在本世纪末超过100亿。

但是,这样的预测误解了基础人口学动态。我们所面临的未来绝非人口增长过多,而是过少。

大多数国家都在去年完成了最新人口普查,数据表明,大部分地区的生育率都在下降。发达国家出生率低下的状况已经维持了较长时间,但这一次,大部分发展中国家的出生率也开始迅速下降。中国、俄罗斯和巴西都已不再大量生育下一代,印度的生育数量也大大降低了。事实上,不出10年,世界生育率就将下降到替换率以下。人口增长大概可以持续到本世纪中叶(拜寿命延长所赐),但就新人替旧人而言,人类规模将不会再扩张了。

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