Ground Report | New Delhi: One in six people; The Population Division of the United Nations has just released the World Population Prospects 2019 report, which indicates that the world’s population could reach its highest point in human history by the end of the century, with around 11,000 million people in 2100.
The increase in life expectancy will mean that by then one in every six inhabitants of the planet will be over 65 years old, which together with the decrease in the birth rate will leave an older population.
Projections show that the world’s population will increase by 2 billion people in the next 30 years, from 7.7 billion today to 9.7 billion in 2050, and that it will approach 11 billion in 2100.
By 2050, one in six people will be over 65
Population growth rates vary widely from region to region. For example, the population of sub-Saharan Africa is projected to double by 2050. There will also be significant increases in Oceania, excluding Australia and New Zealand (56%), in North Africa and Western Asia (46%), in Central Asia and Southern (25%), and in Latin America and the Caribbean (18%).
In contrast, East and Southeast Asia, and Europe and North America, will remain stagnant. Half of the projected growth in the world’s population between now and 2050 will be explained by just nine countries: the United States, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Egypt, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Tanzania.
Another major trend in the coming decades is the decline in the fertility rate, which will continue to decline until 2.2 in 2050.
“Many of the fastest-growing populations are in the poorest countries, where population growth poses new challenges in efforts to eradicate poverty, achieve greater equality, combat hunger and malnutrition, and strengthen coverage and the quality of health and education systems, to ensure that no one is left behind, ”Liu Zhenmin, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, said in the document.
The combination of more people living longer with a decline in fertility leads to the gradual aging of the world population. By 2050, one in six people in the world will be over 65 years old (16%), compared to one in 11 in 2019 (9%). In 2018, for the first time in history, people 65 and older outnumbered children under the age of five.
Population decline without conflict
Since 2010 a phenomenon has been taking place that, decades ago, was unthinkable: the reduction of the population for demographic reasons, without mediating wars, crises or abrupt migratory processes. In total, 27 countries have experienced a 1% or more decline in the size of their populations.
The cause is sustained low fertility levels. In 26 nations, the population is expected to decline by at least 10%. In China, for example, there will be 31.4 million fewer people between 2019 and 2050.
“These data constitute a critical piece of the evidence base necessary to monitor global progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030,” says John Wilmoth, director of the United Nations Population Division, in the report.