Environmental News Archive

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World Population To Hit 9.2 Billion By 2050

15 March 2007 (TODAY)

More countries will be greying more rapidly: UN

UNITED NATIONS - The world's population is poised to reach 9.2 billion by
2050, with growth mainly in the developing nations and the elderly
becoming a dominant age group, the United Nations said in a report.

According to the 2006 revision of official UN population estimates and
projections, the world's population should increase by 2.5 billion people
over the next 43 years from its current level of 6.7 billion. That
increase would occur mainly in the less developed countries.

At the same time, the population in the rich countries was expected to
remain stable, at about 1.2 billion. It would even decline if it were not
for the expected immigration of people from poorer countries, estimated at
2.3 million a year.

The new report said that the growth comes despite a trend showing
fertility levels declining in developing countries. Fertility has already
reached below replacement levels in 28 developing countries, including

"As a result of declining fertility and increasing longevity, the
populations of more and more countries are ageing rapidly," the report
said. Half the increase in world population between 2005 and 2050 will be
the result of a rise in the over-60 population, while the number of
children under age 15 will decline slightly. Today, just 8 per cent of the
population in developing countries is over 60 years old, but the report
said that by mid-century the figure will rise to 20 per cent.

Globally, the number of people over the age of 60 is expected to almost
triple, from 673 million in 2005 to 2 billion by 2050, it said. - AGENCIES