This morning, Tesla Daddy and the One True Starboy Elon Musk took to Twitter to express an Opinion, as he often does. This time, it was about the world’s population.
In response to a New Scientist population decrease story from last November, Musk tweeted his concern: “The world’s population is accelerating towards collapse, but few seem to notice or care.”
Despite what many think, the world’s population is actually projected to decline in the coming century. Fertility rates are falling across the globe and it doesn’t seem likely that they will rise again. 2076 will be the year the population boom will bust, predicts the New Scientist:
What will this mean for the future of our species? By 2076, children will be rarities. For the first time in history most of us will be old. The brash, hormone-driven cultures that shaped the 20th century seem doomed. Innovation could dry up.
It could trash our economies, too. Some economists say that Japan’s repeated recessions since the 1990s are due to the burden of ever more oldies. Maybe Europe is going the same way. China could be next, as its population is set to peak in about 2030. Demographic determinists fear our species is on a slow downward spiral. We could go out not with a demographic bang but with an incontinent whimper.
Birth rates in the United States are also declining. The annual number of births per 1,000 women from ages 15 to 44 declined eight percent from 2007 to 2010, according to a Pew Research Center study conducted in 2012.
There are a number of reasons for this, including increased access to sexual education and birth control for American women. On top of that, many couples are delaying marriage later and later into their lives and some are forgoing having children altogether.
As Musk already has solutions for the reliance on fossil fuels issue and big ideas for colonizing Mars, it’s of no surprise that he has also set an example by singlehandedly repopulating the United States with his five sons. We should all follow his lead if we’re going to get out of this thing alive.