Paul Lachine

El fin del crecimiento de la población

NUEVA DELHI – Según la División de Población de las Naciones Unidas, la población humana del mundo alcanzó los 7.000 millones de habitantes el 31 de octubre. Como siempre sucede cuando llegamos a un hito, esto generó un aumento repentino de conferencias, seminarios y artículos eruditos, inclusive las habituales predicciones malthusianas nefastas. Después de todo, las Naciones Unidas predicen que la población mundial llegará a 9.300 millones en 2050 y superará los 10.000 millones para fines de este siglo.

Estos pronósticos, sin embargo, no representan la subyacente dinámica demográfica. El futuro que enfrentamos no es el de un crecimiento poblacional excesivo, sino más bien escaso.

La mayoría de los países realizaron sus censos nacionales de población el año pasado, y los datos sugieren que las tasas de fertilidad se están desmoronando en la mayoría de ellos. Las tasas de natalidad han sido bajas en los países desarrollados durante algún tiempo, pero ahora están cayendo rápidamente en la mayoría de los países en desarrollo. Los chinos, los rusos y los brasileños ya no se están reemplazando, mientras que los indios están teniendo cada vez menos hijos. De hecho, la fertilidad global caerá a la tasa de reemplazo en poco más de una década. La población puede seguir creciendo hasta mediados de siglo, debido a la creciente longevidad, pero, en términos reproductivos, nuestra especie ya no debería expandirse.

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