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Will the world population increase every year for the next decade?

The very high and steadily increasing world population is a problem in many ways: environmental impact, poverty, and armed conflict are just a few of many adverse effects of a population arguably growing past Earth's comfortable carrying capacity.

As shown in UN projections, the 2015 population of 7.35 billion is slated to grow to 8.1 billion in 2025. This represents a growth of between 75 (in 2025) and 83 (in 2016) million people per year. It is based on 18.6 (2015-2020) and 17.5 (2020-2025) births/year/1000 people and 7.8 (2015-2020) and 7.9 (2020-2025) deaths/year/1000 people.

While population growth is problematic, it is a bit like aging: the alternative is very likely worse! In this question we ask:

Will the world population grow every year from 2016-2025?

A negative resolution would require either a significant decrease in the birth rate, or significant increase in the death rate. The latter could occur due to a global pandemic, war, or other calamity causing tens of millions of additional deaths in a year. A lower birth rate is also conceivable, e.g. if the Zika virus were to significantly decrease or forestall pregnancies worldwide. Population numbers to be taken from UN data.


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Predictions are the heart of Metaculus. Predicting is how you contribute to the wisdom of the crowd, and how you earn points and build up your personal Metaculus track record.

The basics of predicting are very simple: move the slider to best match the likelihood of the outcome, and click predict. You can predict as often as you want, and you're encouraged to change your mind when new information becomes available. With tachyons you'll even be able to go back in time and backdate your prediction to maximize your points.

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Metaculus help: Community Stats

Use the community stats to get a better sense of the community consensus (or lack thereof) for this question. Sometimes people have wildly different ideas about the likely outcomes, and sometimes people are in close agreement. There are even times when the community seems very certain of uncertainty, like when everyone agrees that event is only 50% likely to happen.

When you make a prediction, check the community stats to see where you land. If your prediction is an outlier, might there be something you're overlooking that others have seen? Or do you have special insight that others are lacking? Either way, it might be a good idea to join the discussion in the comments.