“We need to limit population growth to save the planet.”
Was what my son said to me when doing a recent science project, however I wasn’t so sure.
In this bite-sized episode I share some thoughts on even if we chose to reduce population growth why this might be difficult to achieve given current demographic projects and also delve into some the interesting details or where growth is happening and what this means for us as finance professionals.
Link to video mentioned in podcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LyzBoHo5EI
Andrew: [00:00:00] Hi everyone, and welcome to this week’s Monday memo. And some of you are probably wondering why are we talking about population? Trends growths and myths. And I guess the main reason was I started looking into this because my son who is currently at home, so we’re homeschooling him because of the pandemic and him not being in school.
[00:00:22] One of his science projects was actually to look at the impact of population growth on climate change. And he was asked as part of his assignment to look at.
[00:00:33]How can we perhaps prevent overcrowding of the planet? So it doesn’t impact adversely on climate change. And the whole idea was that we had to limit it from how, which I sorta remember from a book I’d read a called factfulness by Hans Rosling that the population growth on the planet is set anyway for the next century.
[00:00:56]Unless there’s a major events that perhaps all to that. So I thought it could be useful sharing some of the lessons from this population growth trends we’re expecting, because it does have some impacts on us as a finance profession. And also if some other listeners out there happen to be parents and their children are doing similar projects and it could be useful information for that.
[00:01:19] So as much as I was referring to a book called factfulness, These population trends that I’m talking about. They’re very nicely summarized in a video that Hans Rosling did before he died. And I’ll put that link to the YouTube site where that’s at with this post,
[00:01:38]but it actually starts is about a 15 minute clip, but it actually starts, we’re saying that. Now population growth is no longer exponential as perhaps as painted by the media because to get people’s attention on this and sell new stories, we try to use how you say exaggerating terms like explosions or exponential when actual factor that the growth is linear, which as the rate of change on a linear trajectory is actually Slowing rate it’s like deceleration.
[00:02:10] So the rate of change isn’t as much.
[00:02:12]And the thinking is because that the growth has flipped from an exponential trajectory to one that’s more linear now where a population is going to probably tap out at about 11 billion at the end of the century.
[00:02:25]And the reason why dust projection is because the proportion of children on the planet, a 2 billion is likely to stay at 2 billion for the next century. And when we say children that sort of zero to 15 year olds at generation, the next generations goes up in another 15 year increment and so on.
[00:02:45]And the thinking is that 2 billion of children will go on form the basis of the next 2 billion. And whereas now the sort of the middle age generations are about 1 billion in size. They’ll be replaced by the 2 billion and so on. And so on, on salary gap. Five, lots of 2 billion at the various different generational age groups with maybe an extra billion at the top of this sort of straight up skyscraper effect to represent a slight increase in life expectancy from the current average of 71.
[00:03:15]And the main reason why that sort of 2 billion tends to hold is that. As a societies worldwide, we’re doing much better than we were historically. Preventing child deaths because off the 135 million children born every year, only 3 million are likely to die. During childhood.
[00:03:35]So if the population growth is already set on this trajectory to be 11 billion then how could my son on his project be asked to limit it? Short of euthanizing. Loads of different generational age groups are killing people, which again, probably wouldn’t the most ethical thing to do as finance professionals.
[00:03:54] What other things could you do? I suppose you could look at the rate of children coming through, but to do that you’d be looking to ask people are forced people like to have as many children One way perhaps could be the via taxes maybe increasing taxes on people who have children charging school fees, where they’re perhaps free education or remove things like subsidies and tax credits for the parents of children who are evading a free childcare and so on.
[00:04:24]However, I don’t think politicians would find that an effective strategy. So it’s, again, unlikely that those policies will be employed and so is there any way of controlling the population growth? There was one put forward by Hans Rosling and it was actually about respecting people ensuring that everyone has access to family planning and it’s not forced. And he was really referencing where the majority of population growth is going to occur within the children age bracket.
[00:04:57]Because as much as the number of children is going to stat to a billion, how they’re spread between different continents is very different. For instance, does the proportion of children in the Americas and Europe is broadly going to stay the same on an Asia. It’s actually going to contract a bit.
[00:05:19] Because of the policies previously, particularly out of greater China restricting the size of families that is now fed into the demographic, meaning that it’s highly likely that the number of children being produced by those getting older is actually going to reduce. And they’re going to be replaced by children being born in Africa because in Africa, the death rates are still relatively higher for children.
[00:05:46] And so as long as the children are dying or they’re needed to work, to support their families, it’s unlikely that the rate of childbirth is going to reduce. And for some of us men whose pride is perhaps linked to how many kids we’ve had, as opposed to instead, which is probably more constructive, how well they’re developing and doing, because if there’s less of them to, to parent there’s a better chance that they’d be happier. It’s again, unlikely that we’re going to see much change.
[00:06:16] And that 11 billion target for population growth.
[00:06:19]So if it’s not really the number of parts that are increasing in the world, then where is it coming from? It’s actually the adults and the adults of those that are being born now, who goes through the generations. And there’s a really good clip. I’ve actually included as a picture with this post. Of how that sort of extra fill up of adults is going to be distribution.
[00:06:39] It will be distribution mostly between Africa and Asia. Yeah. And that’s got a lot of impacts of finance professionals. Why? Because as people move through those ages, that’s where most of the workers are going to be. Entrepreneurs are going to be, and it’s probably going to demand an awful lot of finance professionals in those continents and countries within those continents.
[00:07:00]Also markets, for instance you notice in the numbers and under trends, is that in Europe and America, just not going to be too much change in each of those categories. So that’d be roughly the same size. The market sizes for companies for children. So would that be for schooling, education, toy companies, or even for of healthcare, for those who are more middle-aged and at aging or people who are maybe demanding travel for out of those countries and so on and holidays and all of that, the more affluent middle sector.
[00:07:32]Off the generations, that’s going to be fairly restricted from a growth perspective, unless people’s wealth in those categories increases. However, the number of consumers, potential consumers with an Asia and Africa will be very large in those categories plus the expansion of education in Africa for the growing child populations.
[00:07:54]And perhaps construction and Asia and the child populations as we go through the generations would mean a contraction there in education demand, but maybe growth then in Africa.
[00:08:04]So again, I think a lot of businesses would be targeting their growth to two younger Africans and expos aging Asians, and I can given that the might be a slight increase in life expectancy, then that again also opens up for finance professionals, perhaps longer careers in finance or the need to keep evolving and keep learning and developing.
[00:08:26]And again I’d probably recommend as prior to that development is improving and understanding of the African and Asian continents. Particularly if you are based in Europe and the Americas, where again, population growth is going to be fairly stable.
[00:08:42]And again, from my own personal experience, leading a team on the African continent, again, really enjoy learning more about the culture and the diversity in the profession perspectives. And the energy does brought to the team by team members there. And plus again, some team members over in Southeastern Asia.
[00:09:02]Because that’s where the growth is going to be. That’s why, when we bring guest mentors onto our weekly interviews, we try not to just focus on. We’re most well-known accountants and a finance professionals are where the big companies are, which is, the Americas or the UK or Europe. We try and bring guest mentors on from all around the world.
[00:09:24]Yeah. And we’ve, we set targets for ourselves to have half of our guest mentors from the Africa and an Asian continents. And so far we’ve been quite successful. And likewise, from a diversity perspective, we try and dedicate more interviews for female guest mentors. And at the moment running at about 40% of our interviews are with female guest mentors because that’s probably more representative of where the demographic of our profession is going. So their guidance, their advice, their hard won lessons, what works, what doesn’t
[00:09:56]will really help us getting ahead of some of the changes that are already locked in anyway, for the next century, when it comes to demographics and growth of populations,
[00:10:06]So look, hope you enjoyed this. Week’s strengthen the numbers Monday memo. If you did, please share with your friends and colleagues. We really appreciate that. We can, you can subscribe on all the major platforms, iTunes, citrus, own code, YouTube, Spotify, and Amazon music.
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