A new study has found that those worried about overpopulating the planet have good reason to keep worrying. Field experts from the United States have estimated that today’s global population of 7.3 billion people will grow to be 9.7 billion people in 2050, and become 11.2 billion people by the end of the century.
The report was written by John R. Wilmoth, director of the United Nations’ Population Division, and released earlier this week, on Monday (August 10, 2015).
The projection is alarming as it suggests that the world’s population will continue to grow at a dangerous rhythm. In fact, the United Nations has concluded that there’s only a 23 percent (23%) chance that the population will stop growing in problematic parts of the world such as sub-Saharan Africa or China.
Wilmoth first presented the findings at this year’s Joint Statistical Meetings, informing a session interested in exploring demographic forecasting that he and his colleagues used historical experience to create models of demographic change.
The results showed that the global population will end up being somewhere between 9.5 billion people and 13.3 billion people once we enter 2100.
The United States population is expected to grow by an average of 1.5 million people each year, which means that the country’s current 322 million people will turn into 450 million by the end of the century.
The main cause for concern is related to the regions in sub-Saharan Africa. The continent currently hosts 1.2 billion people, but Wilmoth and his colleagues expect that number to turn into anything from 3.4 billion people to 5.6 billion people by the end of the century.
The main reason for the growth is the local population’s continued high levels of fertility and its recent slowdown in levels of fertility decline.
While the overall fertility rate (TFR) has started declining in Africa this past decade, it is only going down at about one quarter of the rate that the Asian population, Latin American population and the Caribbean population declined back in the 1970s.
some problematic countries of Africa. Nigeria is one such example. It is already the most populated region on the continent, and field experts have said that its current population will fourfold by the end of the century due to high fertility rate.
By 2100, Nigeria’s current 182 million people are expected to turn into 752 million people. Wilmoth and his colleagues did mention that the number is not set in stone, and that there is some uncertainty as to how these trends will progress, however they also believe that even if the population doesn’t reach 752 million people, it will still pass 439 million people by the end of the century.
In fact, Wilmoth said that there’s a 90 percent (90%) chance Nigeria’s current population will grow by almost 2.5 times by the time we reach 2100.
The research team also informed that Asia will continue to remain the single most crowded continent on our planet. It currently hosts 4.4 billion people, and the team said they will most likely turn into 5.3 billion people halfway through the century.
But there is a glimmer of good news as the Asian population is expected to start slowly declining after the 2050s. However it will only drop to 4.9 billion people by the end of the century.
Image Source: einstein.yu.edu