The United Nations believes the world population will cross the 9 billion mark in this year.
In November 2001, the United Nations Population Fund reported that the world population is projected to be 9.3 billion in 2050 from 6.1 billion then with most of the increase in developing countries even as the population of industrialized countries will “remain stable”. This figure was revised to 9.1 billion in 2005 and 9.2 billion in 2007. In 2008, the United States Census Bureau projected a world population of 9.5 billion.
Another study done by the European Commission, community research stated that the world population is expected to grow at a decreasing rate to 8.9 billions in 2050 and after 2030, the population in several countries including those in Europe and China will decrease. Stabilization in the population will happen in the second half of the century.
In the rich industrialized countries, with the exception of the United States where immigrants enjoy a rise in population, generation replacement is no longer assured.
It is calculated there will be 601,000 centenarians (people at least a hundred years old – born before 1950) in the USA by 2050.
“The population continues to grow but at a slower pace”, summarizes the demographer Thomas Buettner, author of UN report on “World population projections (1950-2050)”, presented Thursday, February 24, 2005. According to this study, 9.075 billion people will inhabit Earth in 2050, against 7 billion today.
This increase amounts to adding to the current world population combined populations of People’s Republic of China and India, stresses the population division of the United Nations.
The general trend is, however, a slowdown in population growth compared to gains of twenty to fifty years, this tends to confirm a gradual stabilization of the overall population.
By 2050, India will overtake People’s Republic of China to top the list of the most populous countries, and these two countries represent about 50% of world population (as against 37% today).
Not surprisingly, population growth will be highest in poor countries already struggling to provide food security for its people. “Births planning and fertility decline explain this difference”, stresses the UN report.
The United Nations predicts that 2 out of every 9 people in the world will be 60 years or older. World life expectancy at birth is also expected to exceed 76 years.