Just a few decades later, numbers will drop as fertility rates decline and nations like Japan and Italy lose as much as half of their population.
We might assume fewer mouths to feed and fewer bodies to house would be less taxing on the environment.
But the reality of a shrinking population may be a bleak one.
The researchers describe a fluctuating map of population densities and critical changes in the makeup of citizenship in various countries.
That is, of course, if America maintains a working population through immigration and increasing support for reproductive health services.
Such 'devastating' consequences of a shrinking population also depend largely on how nations protect worker's rights and redistribute wealth.
Endless growth is still a doomsday scenario as far as our planet's ecology goes, but a shrinking global population could be just as stark for humanity, at least under current economic regimes. »