You might have heard about peak oil, but what about peak child? When I was born in 1965, about one in three of the world’s people were children. That will fall to one in five in my lifetime – assuming I make it to the ripe old age of 85.
It might not sound dramatic but the repercussions of that shift are Earth-changing. The number of babies being born around the world is unlikely to ever be higher than now, and that means the domination of the world’s population by those in lower age brackets is ending.
Over the past 50 years, the population aged under 15 ballooned from 1 billion to nearly 2 billion. But revised 100-year population forecasts, released by the United Nations last week, show the number of children will flatten out over the next 15 to 20 years and then fall back to 1.9 billion by 2050.