Assume higher or lower population growth. Population is a key driver of increased greenhouse gases; however, this is also tied heavily to consumption habits. Women’s education and access to family planning could accelerate shifts to smaller families worldwide.
- Different assumptions for future fertility rates and demographics.
- Greater empowerment of women and girls, resulting in lower fertility rates.
- Increased education on and access to reproductive health services.
- Contrary to some people’s beliefs, population growth is not a silver bullet for addressing climate change.
- Decisions around population and family choice are very personal decisions and efforts to shift these decisions have ethical implications in many cultures.
- Watch all the sources of energy change as you change population growth.
Potential Co-Benefits of Lower Growth
- Lower population growth reduces global consumption of resources.
- Ensuring safe access to family planning, reproductive health services, and women’s education enhances quality of life and income for women.
- Policies around population should be voluntary and empower women to make the choices that are best for them.
- A higher percentage of women of color live in countries with severe gender inequities in access to education, full economic and political participation, and adequate family planning. Reducing population growth necessitates a large investment in that particular group.
- There is a history of women of color in both high- and low-income countries being forcibly sterilized to prevent giving birth; this should never be encouraged.
The UN’s population scenarios are the basis for the population trajectories in En-ROADS. This input is indexed across the UN’s scenarios, where 1 is the UN’s low growth scenario, 2 is medium, and 3 is high. The slider is limited to a range of 1.3-2.5 to reflect the 95% probability range of population deviating from the medium growth path.
||1.3 to 2
||2 to 2.4
||2.4 to 2.5
|Population by 2100
||8.4 to 10.9 billion
||10.9 to 12.8 billion
||12.8 to 13.2 billion
Population gets multiplied with economic growth (GDP per capita) to equal total global GDP, or Gross World Product.