World`s population will stop growing in 2050: Study

Updated: Apr 05, 2013, 11:17 AM IST

Washington: Global population data spanning the years from 1900 to 2010 have enabled researchers to predict that the number of people on Earth will stabilise around the middle of the century, a report has said.

The results, obtained with a model used by a research team from the Autonomous University of Madrid, coincide with the UN`s downward forecasts.

According to United Nations` estimates, the world population in 2100 will be within a range between 15.8 billion people according to the highest estimates, high fertility variant- and 6.2 billion according to the lowest, low fertility variant, a figure that stands below the current 7 billion.

A mathematical model developed by a team from the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM) and the CEU-San Pablo University, both from Spain, seems to confirm the lower estimate, in addition to a standstill and even a slight drop in the number of people on Earth by the mid-21st century.

The population prospects between 1950 and 2100 provided by the UN were used to conduct the study, published in the journal `Simulation`.

Mathematical equations that are used in scientific fields, such as condensed matter physics, were then applied to this data.

The model`s S-shaped sigmoid curve reflects this situation with an inflection point in the mid-1980s when the speed at which the population is growing starts to slow down until it stabilises around 2050.

The data also reflected the downward trend in the UN`s series of prospects.

"Overpopulation was a spectre in the 1960s and 70s but historically the UN`s low fertility variant forecasts have been fulfilled," Felix F. Munoz, UAM researcher and co-author of the project. highlighted.