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Peak Baby

June 4th, 2012

Hans Rosling on how birth rates are connected not to religion, but to economic status–and that we have achieved “Peak Baby,” and the world’s population will peak at 10 billion people and not more. A fantastic lecture, a great animated chart. Well worth watching.

Also really good: author and creator of the Rhapsody music service Rob Reid shows up the ludicrously insane “copyright math” which media industries dream up to show how they are robbed of far more value than they actually have. I love the part about how, according to the industry’s numbers, minus 58,000 people work in the entertainment industries as a result of piracy. This is alarming indeed.

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  1. Troy
    June 5th, 2012 at 03:39 | #1

    I don’t know about the world — India’s population pyramid is scary:


    and Saudi Arabia needs to not take the term so literally:


    but Japan saw its peak births ~64 years ago.

    Prior to the war, Japan was adding ~2M babies a year. Their brief baby boom of 1947-1950 saw 2.6M/yr born on average.

    Births declined steadily down to the 1.6M/yr of 1955-1965, then rose slightly back over 2M/yr 1971-74 with the baby boom echo.

    Since then there has been an unrelenting decline down to 1.1 ~1.2M/yr — there was an echo echo in the late 1990s but only around 100,000 over trend in magnitude.

    Adding these births up, there were 18M 20-29yos in 1992, 14M in 2010, and there will be 12M in 2020 and 11M in 2030.

    Tokyo imports youth so won’t see much of this decline but I’m hopeful this diminishing supply of new labor will put upwards pressure on wages and reduce youth underemployment. But it’s tough to see what’s going to happen since Japan is leading the way with depopulation.

    Spain’s population pyramid:


    isn’t too different from Japan’s, and they have absolutely horrendous unemployment.


    The US’s experienced peak births at 4.3M in 1957, again in 2007, and given the Gen Y demographics, might continue to see 4.3M+ births from 2018 onwards.

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