The world population over the next three centuries: explosion, implosion or equilibrium?

Population and Societies

408, January 2005

The United Nations has just published projections of the world population until 2300. The population is expected to increase for fifty years then stabilize… or explode or implode, depending on whether fertility remains durably above or below replacement level. But how much value should we place on projections so far into the future? François Héran explains that this exercise in demography-fiction is useful if it teaches us how to avoid the disaster scenarios of population explosion or implosion.

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