Episode 4 – Does the world have too many people? Part 2 – Why are fertility rates declining?

By Haroon Akram-Lodhi

There are many who believe that climate change is closely intertwined with the population of the planet, and that the two together will have mutually-reinforcing negative consequences for human capabilities. In fact, the world’s population structure is changing, but in ways that throw up a surprising set of challenges that are not obvious.

If the rate of population growth has been declining since 1972, and declining rates of growth of population are driven by declining fertility rates, why are fertility rates in decline around the world?