Falling fertility rates could mean most countries see their populations shrink by the end of the century.
The world will have to begin to reckon with the consequences of a smaller, older population.
1. It could be good news for poorer countries
We’re looking at very different situations in different parts of the world.
Falling fertility rates – the number of live births per woman, according to the official definition – and economic development tend to go hand in hand.
Better education and career opportunities for women, access to contraception and abortion and lower child mortality rates, mean women on average have fewer children.
So for lower-income countries, a falling birth-rate could spell better living standards.
A smaller number of children each get a bigger