"The spread of birth control and a desire for smaller families tend to accompany economic growth and development almost everywhere." The Economist,21st July,2011
This fact has led demographers to project world population peaking at 9/10 billion by mid century and then beginning to drop continuously as it would already be doing in the developed world, if it were not for immigration.
To my mind this should encourage countries such as Australia to concentrate their production on energising,feeding and clothing the developing world in the knowledge that lifting countries out of poverty and disease will not only make life more bearable for them, but will have the environmental benefit of stopping global population growth. The sooner living standards are improved in the third world the sooner population growth will cease.
In the interim we'd better concentrate on lifting productivity growth in preparation for the economic challenges we will face when global population starts to decrease. For Australia, a more flexible deregulated labour market would be a good place to start. Unfortunately Julia Gillard as P.M. and Labour Minister has been taking us backwards in this regard.