According to the United Nations’ most recent estimates, the world’s population may reach 8.5 billion in 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050, and 10.4 billion in 2100. The annual World Population Prospect study, which was made public on Monday to coincide with World Population Day, also observes that the pace of population growth worldwide is slowing down and will reach less than 1% in 2020.
While it took 12 years for the world’s population to increase from 7 to 8 billion people, it will take around 15 years—until 2037—for it to reach 9 billion people, indicating that the population’s general growth rate is slowing.
The two most populated areas in the world in 2022 were both in Asia: Central and Southern Asia had 2.1 billion people while Eastern and South-Eastern Asia had 2.3 billion. With populations of about 1.4 billion apiece, China and India made up the majority of the people in these two areas.
The population of just eight nations—Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Tanzania—will expand by more than half by the year 2050. The order of the world’s greatest nations will change due to divergent growth rates.
In 2023, India is anticipated to overtake China as the world’s most populated nation, according to UN projections.
Declining mortality rates, which are reflected in rising levels of life expectancy at birth, contribute to population expansion. In 2019, the average life expectancy in the world was 72.8 years, an increase of over 9 years from 1990. The average lifespan worldwide is anticipated to reach 77.2 years in 2050 as a result of further mortality decreases.
The nations with the lowest incomes per capita also tend to have the greatest fertility rates.
As a result, the world’s poorest nations, most of which are in sub-Saharan Africa, have seen an increase in their share of the global population rise over time.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which remain the world’s best path toward a happy and healthy future, can be thwarted in these nations by continuing high population increase.
Rising per capita incomes are the primary cause of unsustainable patterns of production and consumption, despite the fact that population increase compounds the environmental effects of economic development.
In contrast to those where the population is quickly increasing, the nations with the highest per capita use of material resources and emissions of greenhouse gases tend to be those with greater per capita wealth.
According to the UN, reducing unsustainable patterns of production and consumption is essential to attaining the SDGs and the goals of the Paris Agreement to limit global temperature increase.
However, a slower population increase over many years could be able to slow down the further deterioration of the environment in the second half of the 20th century.