World’s Population Projected to Be Nearly 10 Billion by 2100
The world’s population has grown from only 5 million in 8000 B.C. to the current level of about 7 billion.
The world’s population is likely to increase from 7.2 billion people to 8.1 billion by 2025, and to 9.6 billion by 2050, according to the United Nations.
While the statistician who authored the UN report says more needs to be done to address imbalances in population growth between poorer and wealthier countries, the new upward estimates should not be cause for panic.
John Wilmoth says the world was able to more than double its food production as the population doubled between 1960 and 2000.
But others say that energy supplies and those of other natural resources may not be able to keep up with the demands of a growing global population.
“These new findings show that we need to renew policies, such as increasing access to family planning and expanding education for girls, to address rapid population growth in Africa,” said Adrian Raftery, a co-author of the report and a statistician from the University of Washington.
The vast majority of the report’s projected population increase is estimated to take place in developing countries, with over half anticipated in Africa alone.
In contrast, in many developed countries in Europe and East Asia, fertility rates have fallen to the point where the number of people who die each year is roughly equal to the number of babies that are born. This can lead to its own unique set of problems, says Wilmoth.
“These populations are aging rapidly and face challenges in providing care and support to their growing ranks of older persons,” he said.
Wilmoth went on to stress that the projects are based on certain assumptions about birthrates, mortality rates, and migration patterns, and therefore carry with them “enormous uncertainty.”