The sharp global deceleration of population growth is an under-appreciated yet critical phenomenon for long-term investors and business leaders—and certainly crucial to the future wellness industry. While this is primarily driven by social choice, endocrine disruption (that has caused a 50% decline in sperm count over the past 50 years, plus soaring miscarriages) is also an important contributing factor.
Now COVID has added another incremental effect by causing a global baby “bust” (since the pandemic started, fertility rates have declined by up to 15% in most developed countries). This could bring forward the projected date of peak global population by 10 years—into the 2050s.
How will this pan out? In the next 30 years, the number of people aged 65+ will double globally (reaching 1.6 billion)—with the fastest aging growth in developing countries. The population of countries like Japan, Italy, Russia and South Korea will drop precipitously (by more than half before the end of this century). Others, like China (where the number of people over 60 will reach 35% in 30 years), will become old before having had a chance to become rich.