Global population growth is expected to level off by 2100, when the world is expected to be home to about 10.9 billion people. Fears at various points in the last two centuries about the dangers of overpopulation have proved exaggerated. Food output has kept up, although access to food is uneven. With substitutions of plant-based alternatives for much meat and dairy, global harvests even at current yield levels could feed 9.7 billion people by 2050, according to Lancaster University researchers.
Human governance and consumption patterns and their impact on the planet‘s environment are more important to consider than absolute population size. “It is not the number of people on the planet that is the issue—but the number of consumers and the scale and nature of their consumption,” says David Satterthwaite, who studies urban poverty.