Earth population to reach 9.7 B in 2050

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Earth population to reach 9.7 B in 2050

MANILA, Philippines — By the year 2050, there will be some 9.7 billion people living on Earth, according to a new United Nations population report that also tagged the Philippines and two other countries as seeing the largest outflows resulting from the demand for migrant workers, contributing to population change in certain regions.

“The World Population Prospects 2019: Highlights” estimates the next 30 years will see the global population expand by two billion from the current 7.7 billion, and by end of century the planet will have to sustain around 11 billion people.

In some cases, the falling population size is reinforced by high rates of emigration, and migration flows have become a major reason for population change in certain regions. 

The report said “Bangladesh, Nepal and the Philippines are seeing the largest migratory outflows resulting from the demand for migrant workers; and Myanmar, Syria and Venezuela are the countries where the largest numbers are leaving because of violence, insecurity or armed conflict.” 

“For those countries where population is falling, immigration is expected to plug the gaps, particularly in Belarus, Estonia and Germany,” the report said.

According to the report, India is expected to show the highest population increase between now and 2050, overtaking China as the world’s most populous country by around 2027. India, along with eight other countries, will make up over half of the estimated population growth between now and 2050.

The nine countries expected to show the biggest increase are India, Nigeria and Pakistan, followed by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Indonesia, Egypt and the United States of America. In all, the population of sub-Saharan Africa is expected to practically double by 2050.

However, growth in these countries comes against the backdrop of a slowing global fertility rate.

In 1990, the average number of births per woman was 3.2. By 2019 this had fallen to 2.5 births per woman and, by 2050, this is projected to decline further to 2.2 births: a fertility level of 2.1 births per woman is necessary to avoid national population decline over the long run (in the absence of immigration).

The population size of more and more countries is actually falling.

Since 2010, 27 countries or areas have seen a drop of at least one percent, because of persistently low fertility rates.

Between now and 2050, that is expected to expand to 55 countries which will see a population decrease of one percent or more, and almost half of these will experience a drop of at least 10 percent.

“Many of the fastest growing populations are in the poorest countries, where population growth brings additional challenges,” said Liu Zhenmin, United Nations Undersecretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs. These challenges include the fight to eradicate poverty and combat hunger and malnutrition; greater equality and improved health care and education. The report, he said, offers a roadmap indicating where to target action and interventions.

At the same time, growth is providing opportunities in many developing economies: recent reductions in fertility mean that the working-age population (25 to 64) is growing faster than other age ranges, which could improve the possibilities for faster economic growth.

The report recommends that governments make use of this demographic dividend to invest in education and health.

“The World Population Prospects 2019: Highlights” is published by the Population Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs and provides a comprehensive overview of global demographic patterns and prospects. The report is based on population estimates from 1950 to the present for 235 countries or areas, underpinned by analyses of historical demographic trends. 

The 2019 revision also includes population projections to the year 2100 that reflect a range of plausible outcomes at the global, regional and country levels.