Population growth: Economics vs Environment

May 31, 2021 | Jeremy Goldfarb


In today's insight from our portfolio advisor group, they examined the demographic challenge facing China over the next 5-10 year. Today, the Chinese government increased the number of children a family can have from one to three. Why? Because China is getting old. The one child policy has led to some unforeseen consequences (fertility rate to name one), and on top of that, the problem is different that what Japan has. China is not nearly as wealth as Japan was/is as they enter this "problem". As things look right now, the natural population growth rate is set to drop below zero. Economically, that is a problem.





The focus on sustainability and humanity's overall impact on the environment is front and center right now. And it should be. I recall watching a David Attenborough feature several months ago on Netflix (all of his stuff is off the charts IMO), and it looked at his career over the years. Back when he started his work, the global population was hovering around 2.6 Billion people. We are slated to cross over 8 BILLION PEOPLE around the year 2024. If we look at what the global impact of population growth has had on the environment......is China's problem really a problem? 


I'm not arguing one side or the other, and we can't examine these things in a vacuum. It bears notice though considering the news.