According to a recent U.N. report, by 2050 Earth will be the host of 9.7 billion people and by the end of the century that number will jump to 11.2 billion. Currently, the world’s population is 7.3 billion people.
John R. Wilmoth, of the U.N.’s Population Division revealed the numbers during the Joint Statistical Meetings event held this year in Seattle. Mr. Wilmoth also disclosed that Africa is the continent with the fastest population growth in all continents. By the end of the century, the Black Continent is expected to host half of the world’s population.
Unlike the Western world, Africa enjoys a high fertility rate. The U.N. hopes that world’s population would stop growing by 2100 but the chances to achieve that are 23 percent.
Mr. Wilmoth presented the projections on Monday during a session called titled “Better Demographic Forecasts, Better Policy Decisions.” He predicted that world’s population will stabilize between 9.5 billion and 13.3 billion people by this century’s end. The U.S. is expected to have 450 million residents by 2100. Current population is 322 million.
Africa, which now has 1.2 billion people, is expected to reach 3 to 5.6 billion people by 2100. UN experts explained that that is due to high fertility rates and failed attempts to curb that rate over the last decade. In the 1970s, due to the extensive use of birth control pills fertility rate declined significantly in Asia and South America, but in Africa that rate was reduced by only one-quarter, experts suggest.
Additionally, in some African states that rate is flat. For example, Nigeria, which is the country with most inhabitants on the continent, is expected to host 752 million residents by the end of the century. It currently has a population of 182 million. Nevertheless, the U.N. admitted that estimates are not 100 percent certain, but in Nigeria’s case there is a 90 percent chance for its population to grow beyond 430 million in 85 years’ time.
In Asia, population is expected to reach 5.3 billion people halfway through the century and slip to 4.9 billion by 2100. Asia currently is the most crowded of all continents with 4.4 billion people.
The U.N. report also shows what countries have the rates of aging population by calculating the potential support ratio (PSR), which is the result of dividing the number of young people and middle-aged (20 to 64 years old) to the number of the elderly (65 years old or more). Currently, Japan and Italy have the most aged population with PSRs at 2.1, respectively 2.6. The U.S. has a PSR of 4.0, but as people are getting older and fewer children are born that number may decline to 1.9 by the end of the century.
Image Source: BJ Review
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