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Rate Equations approach to simulate World population trends


  • Gonzalo, Julio A.

    () (Departamento de Física de Materiales. Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.)

  • Muñoz, Félix

    () (Departamento de Análisis Económico (Teoría e Historia Económica). Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.)

  • Santos,David J.

    () (Escuela Politécnica Superior, Universidad San Pablo CEU)


According to UN statistical data and projections world population will begin to decrease by the middle of this century. This paper uses rate equations (fully analogous to those employed in condensed matter physics) to simulate the time evolution of world population, making use of UN population data in the time interval 1900-2010, and to extrapolate the evolution of world population into the near future. This approach has not been used in economics and population dynamics. The simulation predicts a population decline by mid-century. The economic consequences of population decline would be far reaching.

Suggested Citation

  • Gonzalo, Julio A. & Muñoz, Félix & Santos,David J., 2011. "Rate Equations approach to simulate World population trends," Working Papers in Economic Theory 2011/07, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain), Department of Economic Analysis (Economic Theory and Economic History).
  • Handle: RePEc:uam:wpaper:201107

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    rate equations; demographic transition; population trend simulation; world population decline.;

    JEL classification:

    • C65 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Miscellaneous Mathematical Tools
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts

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