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article imageWorld’s population to pass 10 billion by 2100, UN projects

By Lynn Herrmann     May 8, 2011 in Environment
New York - The world’s population is expected to continue its rapid growth, escalating past 9 billion before 2050 and going over 10 billion by 2100 if current fertility rates continue at their projected levels, according to United Nations figures just released.
Most of the growth will come from the so-called “high fertility countries,” mainly located in sub=Saharan Africa but also including some nations in Asia, Latin America and Oceania, according to the UN figures.
Prepared by the Population Division at the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), The 2010 Revision of World Population Prospects shows that just a small variation in fertility could lead to significant long-term differences in the total global population.
A small fertility rate increase could lead to as many as 15.8 billion people by 2100, while just a small decrease could lead to a decline to 6.2 billion in overall population numbers.
Based on the medium projection, however, the world’s population, currently approaching 7 billion, should pass 8 billion in 2023, 9 billion by 2041, and surpass 10 billion some time after 2081.
These numbers come as reports elsewhere continue showing a warming planet will lead to decreased food productions, and declining water supplies in the western US and abroad will lead to risks for the human population.
The UN’s director of DESA’s Population Division, Hania Zlotnik, said at a press conference that populations in many countries are aging and because of their declining fertility rates, will continue to decline.
Included in the low-fertility group are most countries in Europe except for Ireland and Iceland, Australia, and 19 of 51 Asian countries, among others.
Brazil, China, France, Germany, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, the Russian Federation, Thailand and Viet Nam account for 75 percent of those living in low-fertility countries.
Intermediate-fertility countries with 75 percent of that population group are located in the US, Mexico, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh and Egypt.
Most of the global increase is projected to come from high-fertility countries in Africa, where 39 of its 55 have high fertility. Six Asian countries, six in Oceania, and four Latin American countries round out the high-fertility group.
The high-fertility countries tend to be poorer and smaller countries, and often involved in conflict. Concern by the UN is that if these countries cannot achieve projected fertility reductions they will encounter serious issues over food availability and rising food prices.
Zlotnik said the world’s population will grow past 7 billion at some point this year.
More about Climate change, global population, World population, high fertility, African countries
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