The 2015 Revision of World Population Prospects recently published by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division reveals many projected demographic changes, but one in particular stands out: despite an anticipated decrease in fertility rates, the population of the world is expected to exceed 11 billion by 2100. This would be a population increase of approximately 8.5 billion since 1950.
The increase would not be evenly distributed throughout the world, according to the Revision. Nine nations — India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Indonesia, Uganda and the United States — are projected to experience approximately half of the overall increase from now until 2050. Thirty-three countries designated by the United Nations as “least-developed” are predicted to experience population growth of about 300 per cent by 2100.
“The concentration of population growth in the poorest countries presents its own set of challenges, making it more difficult to eradicate poverty and inequality; to combat hunger and malnutrition; and to expand educational enrollment and health systems, all of which are crucial to the success of the new sustainable development agenda,” said John Wilmoth, the Director of the Population Division.
India is expected to become the most populous nation in the world by 2050. China has been for many years.
A number of developed countries — Germany, Japan, Hungary and others — are projected to experience significant population decreases by 2100.
The Revision indicates that should fertility rates not decrease as predicted, the population of the world could exceed 13 billion by 2100 and the poorest nations would experience the greatest growth to an even larger extent.