Systematic literature review and meta-analysis of global food security projections

Global food demand and people at risk of hunger projections: 2010-2050.

Ending hunger and achieving food security - one of the UN sustainable development goals - is a major global challenge. To inform the policy debate, quantified global scenarios and projections are used to assess long-term future global food security under a range of socio-economic and climate change scenarios. However, due to differences in model design and scenario assumptions, there is uncertainty about the range of food security projections and outcomes. To address this issue, we conducted a systematic literature review and meta-analysis of all global food security modeling studies that have been published over the last two decades and discussed the methods, underlying drivers, indicators and projections. Across five representative scenarios that span divergent but plausible socio-economic futures, the total global food demand is expected to increase by 35% to 56% between 2010 and 2050, while population at risk of hunger is expected to change by −91% to +8% over the same period. If climate change is taken into account, the ranges change slightly (+30% to +62% for total food demand and −91% to +30% for population at risk of hunger) but with no statistical differences overall. The results of our review can be used to benchmark new global food security projections and quantitative scenario studies and inform policy analysis and the public debate on the future of food. More information can be found in our Nature Food article.

Michiel van Dijk
Michiel van Dijk
Senior researcher

Wageningen Economic Research