By 2100, the number of people inhabiting the planet is expected to pass the 10 billion mark. This and other projections were revealed on 3 May when Hania Zlotnik, Director of DESA’s Population Division, presented the “World Population Prospects: 2010 Revision”, the official UN population projections.
At a press conference at the UN in New York, Ms. Zlotnik said that unlike past reports, this one included projections for all countries and regions of the world up to 2100. She said the new and more complex method used to project fertility took countries’ past experiences more into account in order to chart future fertility paths.
Ms. Zlotnik also said that the world population was projected to increase to 7 billion towards the end of the year and that while the world had not collapsed under the billions of new people, the poorest countries were experiencing the highest rates of population growth.
High-fertility countries tended to be small, poor and racked by conflict, and the concern was that if they did not achieve their projected fertility reductions, they would have serious problems, including over food availability and affordability.
The projections also indicate that population ageing is the fastest in low-fertility countries. Today, 11 per cent of the population in low-fertility countries is 65 years or over. In 2050, the percentage is expected to be 26 per cent for this age group.
In high-fertility countries on the other hand, only three per cent is currently 65 years or older and this age group is estimated to constitute six per cent of the population in 2050.
Life expectancy is expected to rise across all categories of countries and is projected to increase from 68 years to 81 by the years 2095 to 2100.
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