World population to hit 9.8 billion by 2050: UN

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UNITED NATIONS, June 21 (APP): The current world population of 7.6
billion is expected to reach 8.6 billion in 2030, 9.8 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion in 2100 – despite an overall drop in the number of children people have around the globe, the United Nations Wednesday reported.
The concentration of global population growth is in the poorest
countries, according to World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision, presenting a challenge as the international community seeks to implement the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, which seeks to end poverty and preserve the planet.
“With roughly 83 million people being added to the world’s population
every year, the upward trend in population size is expected to continue, even assuming that fertility levels will continue to decline,” the
report’s authors at the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs
said.
The growth is expected to come, in part, from the 47 least
developed countries, where the fertility rate is around 4.3 births
per woman, and whose population is expected to reach 1.9 billion people
in 2050 from the current estimate of one billion.
In addition, the birth rates in African countries are likely to
“at least double” by 2050, according to the report.
That trend comes despite lower fertility rates in nearly all regions
of the world, including in Africa, where rates fell from 5.1 births per woman up to 2005 to 4.7 births in the five years following.
In contrast, the birth rates in Europe are up to 1.6 births per woman,
up from 1.4 births in 2000-2005.
“During 2010-2015, fertility was below the replacement level in 83
countries comprising 46 per cent of the world’s population,” according
to the report.
The lower fertility rates are resulting in an ageing population,
with the number of people aged 60 or over expected to more than double by 2050 and triple by 2100, from the current 962 million to 3.1 billion.
Africa, which has the youngest age distribution of any region, is
projected to experience a rapid ageing of its population, the report
noted.
“Although the African population will remain relatively young for
several more decades, the percentage of its population aged 60 or
over is expected to rise from five per cent in 2017 to around nine
per cent in 2050, and then to nearly 20 per cent by the end of the
century,” the authors wrote.
In terms of other population trends depicted in the report, the
population of India, which currently ranks as the second most populous country with 1.3 billion inhabitants, will surpass China’s 1.4 billion citizens, by 2024.
By 2050, the third most populous country will be Nigeria, which
currently ranks seventh, and which is poised to replace the United
States.
The report also noted the impacts of migrants and refugees between
countries, in particular noting the impact of the Syrian refugee crisis
and the estimated outflow of 4.2 million people.
In terms of migration, “although international migration at or
around current levels will be insufficient to compensate fully for the expected loss of population tied to low levels of fertility, especially
in the European region, the movement of people between countries can
help attenuate some of the adverse consequences of population ageing,” the authors wrote.