Population, part 3: New forecast from the UN – 10,9 billion people by 2100!

Today, in my local newspaper Göteborgs-Posten, I saw a small article  that the United Nations had produced a new forecast of the world population. Internet to the rescue: I found what I think is the source, a dispatch from the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), June 13, which you can read here. The dispatch refers to a short report (only 7 pages) called ”World Population Prospects: The 2012 Revision, Key Findings and Advance Tables” from the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations.

Some highlights from the report, such as the new likely forecast:

  • 2025: 8,1 billion
  • 2050: 9,6 billion
  • 2100: 10,9 billion

This can still vary quite a lot depending on how the fertility rates will turn out. The new UN high projection suggests that we could be 16,6 billion and the low projection says that we could be 6,8 billion by 2100. One should also bear in mind that the forecast relies on the fact that family planning will be used more throughout the world in the future, thus decreasing the fertility rates. If we should have the same fertility rates as during 2005 – 2010, we could have a total population near 30 billion in 2100. Something to think about…

This forecast estimates a higher total population than the previous one (almost a billion more in 2100 than earlier thought). Three main reasons are given for this:

  1. Fertility levels have been adjusted upward in a number of countries on the basis of recently available information. In some cases, the actual level of fertility appears to have risen in recent years; in other cases, the previous estimate was too low.
  2. Slight modifications in the projected fertility rates of some very populous countries have yielded important differences in long-run forecasts.
  3. Future levels of life expectancy at birth are slightly higher in several countries in this latest projection.

According to this report, the growth will mainly be in developing countries. Growth is expected to be particularly dramatic in the least developed countries of the world, which are projected to double in size from 898 million inhabitants in 2013 to 1.8 billion in 2050 and to 2.9 billion in 2100.
The population of  developed countries will be  changed minimally and would decline if not for the migration from developing countries  to developed countries.

I will update my Population page at once!

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