“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”- UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
According to a latest UN report titled: World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision, the world’s total population is expected to hit 9.8 billion by 2050 despite universal lower fertility rates. 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 1 billion.
Presently, world population is at least 7.6 billion which is a step up from 7.4 billion in 2016, which is as a result of the relatively high levels of fertility in developing countries (despite many families around the globe reducing the number of kids they have).
It has been identified that the concentration of global population growth is in the poorest countries, which poses a challenge as the world seeks to implement the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, which is aimed to end poverty and preserve the planet, according to the report.
Taking a critical look at Africa, where rates fell from 5.1 births per woman up to 2005 to 4.7 births in the five years following, the report posits that birth rates in African countries are likely to “at least double” by 2050.
Also, the report noted that Africa, which has the youngest age distribution of any region, is projected to experience a rapid ageing of its population.
Other trends depicted in the report show that 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; and Nigeria, which currently ranks seventh, will be the third most populous country, poised to replace the US.