An ageing population is good for us and the planet

From Science Nordic:

Western society should embrace ageing and declining population growth, argue ecologists in a new scientific opinion article.

By: Nancy Bazilchuk
November 23, 2018

A smaller population can create a more sustainable society, and the costs associated with the world’s ageing population are manageable. That is according to ecologists writing in a new opinion article in the scientific journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution.

“As the nations of the world grapple with the task of creating sustainable societies, ending and in some cases reversing population growth will be necessary to succeed. Yet stable or declining populations are typically reported in the media as a problem, or even a crisis, due to demographic ageing,” writes ecologist Frank Götmark from Gothenburg University, Sweden, along with co-authors from the US and Australia, in the article.

“Endless population growth would be ecologically impossible,” says Götmark in a press release published at and ScienceDaily.

“Overpopulation leads to serious problems, including excessive consumption, deadly conflicts over scarce resources, and habitat loss leading to species endangerment,” he says.

The UN population report from 2017 shows that 14 per cent of countries in the world have a declining population, including Japan, the Czech Republic and Estonia. And they estimate that 32 per cent of all countries will have decreasing populations by 2050, according to the press release.

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