UN says world population will reach 9.8 billion in 2050

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The nations driving population growth are India, Nigeria, Congo, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Tanzania, the United States, Uganda, and Indonesia, the UN said.

In addition, the birth rates in African countries are likely to "at least double" by 2050, said the report.

The 2017 Revision of World Population Prospects is the 25th round of official United Nations population estimates and projections.

"The population in Africa is notable for its rapid rate of growth, and it is anticipated that over half of global population growth between now and 2050 will take place in that region", he said. Nigeria, with the fastest growing population worldwide, will overtake the United States in size by then, the UN said.

Meanwhile, Europe's population is predicted to continue ageing, with the percentage of people aged 60 or older rising from 25 per cent in 2017 to 35 per cent in 2050. While India's population will continue to grow for decades after it, touching 1.5 billion in 2030 and 1.66 billion in 2050, China's population is expected to register a slow decline after remaining stable till 2030s.

India now has 1.3 billion people and China 1.4 billion.

China's population was 1.38bn in 2016 and is set to hit 1.42bn in 2021 - a growth rate of less than 0.5% a year compared with 0.8% in the USA and over 1% in India.

The world's total population is projected to reach 8.6 billion in 2030, 9.8 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion in 2100 from its current 7.6 billion. "In roughly seven years, the population of India is expected to surpass that of China", said the report, titled "World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision".

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Fertility rates have fallen in almost all parts of the world, including Africa - the region with the highest rates - where they have dropped to 4.7 children per woman from 5.1 children per woman in 2000 - 2005.

The concentration of population growth in the poorest countries will pose a challenge for the UN's goals of improving healthcare, education and equality to end poverty and hunger in the developing world.

"During 2010 to 2015, fertility was below the replacement level in 83 countries comprising 46 per cent of the world's population", according to the report.

The UN Department said the population growth presented a challenge as the global community sought to implement the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda seeking to end poverty and preserve the planet.

More and more countries now have fertility rates below the level of roughly 2.1 births per woman needed to replace the current generation, the report said.

This post was syndicated from Vanguard News.

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