The present report, which has been prepared in accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/2, provides an overview of demographic trends for the world, its major areas, development groups and selected countries, focusing on the major changes that have occurred over the past 20 years since the adoption of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, held in Cairo in 1994.
The report indicates that the world’s population reached 7.2 billion in 2014 and is expected to increase by more than 2 billion by 2050. Most of the future population growth will occur in the less developed regions. There is considerable diversity in the expected future trajectory of population change across various major areas and countries, driven primarily by differences in levels and trends of fertility. The populations of Africa and Asia will increase greatly in the coming decades. In contrast, because of persistent below-replacement fertility, a number of countries are expected to experience a decline in their population size. Despite the significant improvements in life expectancy achieved over the past 20 years, many countries will fail to meet the targets for life expectancy, infant and child mortality and maternal mortality included in the Programme of Action.
More than half of the world’s population now lives in urban areas. While the number of large urban agglomerations is increasing, approximately half of all urban dwellers reside in smaller cities and towns. The number of young people has grown rapidly in recent decades and is expected to remain relatively stable over the next 35 years. In contrast, the number and proportion of older persons are expected to continue rising well into the foreseeable future.
The report concludes that the current state of the world’s population is one of unprecedented diversity and change, reflected in new patterns of fertility, mortality, migration, urbanization and ageing. The continuation and consequences of these population trends will present both opportunities and challenges for the formulation and implementation of the United Nations post-2015 development agenda and for the achievement of all internationally agreed development goals.
- Concise Report on the World Population Situation 2014 (Arabic)
- Concise Report on the World Population Situation 2014 (Chinese)
- Concise Report on the World Population Situation 2014 (English)
- Concise Report on the World Population Situation 2014 (French)
- Concise Report on the World Population Situation 2014 (Russian)
- Concise Report on the World Population Situation 2014 (Spanish)