In 2050 there will be 9.3 billion people alive - compared with 7 billion today - and the number will still be rising. The population aged over sixty-five will have more than doubled, to more than 16 per cent; China's GDP will be 80 per cent more than America's; and the number of cars on India's roads will have increased by 3,880 per cent. And, in 2050 it should be clear whether we are alone in the universe.
What other megachanges can we expect - and what will their impact be?
This comprehensive and compelling book will cover the most significant trends that are shaping the coming decades, with each of its twenty chapters elegantly and authoritatively outlined by Economist contributors, and rich in supporting facts and figures. It will chart the rise and fall of fertility rates across continents; how energy resources will change in light of new technology, and how different nations will deal with major developments in science and warfare. Megachange is essential reading for anyone who wants to know what the next four decades hold in store.
Megachange looks at the forces that have been driving change and where they are headed over the following decades. Its conclusions about how the world will look in 2050 are often surprising, not least in their optimism. Following an introduction, the book is divided into four parts containing 20 chapters that cover everything from health to wealth and religion to outer space.
People and relationships
Not quite destiny
The health of nations
Heaven and earth
Believe it or not
Feeling the heat
The future of war: the weak become strong
Freedom's ragged march
Taming Leviathan: the state of the state
Economy and business
The age of emerging markets
Globalisation, growth and the Asian century
The great levelling
Knowledge and progress
What (and where) next for science
The web of knowledge
Distance is dead. Long live location
Of predictions and progress: more for less
Barbara Beck is The Economist's special-reports editor.
Geoffrey Carr is The Economist's science and technology editor.
Philip Coggan is the Buttonwood columnist and capital-markets editor of The Economist. He is the author of The Economist Guide to Hedge Funds and, most recently, Paper Promises: Money, Debt and the New World Order.
Simon Cox is The Economist's Asia economics editor.
Tim Cross is a science correspondent at The Economist.
Kenneth Cukier is The Economist's data editor.
Martin Giles is The Economist's US technology correspondent.
Anthony Gottlieb is a New York-based writer. A former executive editor of The Economist, he is the author of The Dream of Reason: A History of Philosophy from the Greeks to the Renaissance.
Robert Lane Greene is The Economist's professional-services correspondent. He also edits "Johnson", The Economist's blog on language, and is the author of You Are What You Speak: Grammar Grouches, Language Laws, and the Politics of Identity.
Charlotte Howard is The Economist's health-care correspondent.
Laza Kekic is director of the Economist Intelligence Unit's Country Forecasting Service.
Edward Lucas edits The Economist's international section. His most recent book is Deception, on East-West espionage.
Zanny Minton Beddoes is The Economist's economics editor.
Oliver Morton is The Economist's briefings editor and was previously energy and environment editor. His most recent book is Eating the Sun: How Plants Power the Planet.
John Parker is The Economist's globalisation editor.
Matt Ridley is a former science and technology editor, Washington bureau chief and United States editor of The Economist. He is the author of several books, including, most recently, The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves.
Ludwig Siegele is The Economist's online business editor. He was previously technology editor.
Matthew Symonds is The Economist's defence and security editor.
Paul Wallace is The Economist's European economics editor. He is the author of Agequake: Riding the Demographic Rollercoaster Shaking Business, Finance and Our World.
Adrian Wooldridge is The Economist's management editor and Schumpeter columnist. He is co-author of several books and, most recently, the author of Masters of Management: How the Business Gurus and Their Ideas Have Changed the World for Better and for Worse.