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First, that it will continue to decline where it has begun to decline, and will begin to decline where it has not.
The UN projects that fertility will decline from a high level of 6 children per woman around 1990 and reach about 3 children per woman by 2050.
But will such low levels find favor in the Nigerias, Pakistans, and Zambias of this world?
The desire for more than two children — often many more than two — will remain an obstacle and will challenge assumptions that world population will level off or decline.
But we must carefully examine the assumptions behind such projections.
And forecasts that population is going to level off or decline this century have been based on the assumption that the developing world will necessarily follow thepath of the industrialized world. Eyeing the future, conservationists have clung to the notion that population will peak and then start to decline later this century. Wilson has propounded what he terms the bottleneck theory: that maximum pressure on the natural world will occur this century as human population peaks, after which a declining human population will supposedly ease that pressure.