In 2022 the world’s population will pass 8 billion. It has increased by a third in just two decades. By 2050, there will be about 9.5 billion.
Fertility rates in Europe, North America and East Asia are generally below 2.1 births per woman, the level at which populations remain stable at constant mortality rates.
The birthrate in Italy is the lowest it has ever been in the country’s history.
South Korea’s fertility rate has been stuck below one birth per woman for decades despite an estimated $120bn (£90bn) being spent on initiatives aimed at raising it.
Japan started the century with 128 million citizens but is on course to have only 106 million by 2050.
China’s population will peak at 1.45 billion in 2030, but if it proves unable to raise its fertility rate, the world’s most populous country could end the century with fewer than 600 million inhabitants.
The trouble is this trend does not so far include Africa, other than a few individual nations. Overall, low or rapidly declining birthrates remain the exception rather than the rule in most of Africa.
The populations of more than half of Africa’s 54 nations will double – or more – by 2050.
The continent will then be home to at least 25% of the world’s population, compared with less than 10% in 1950.
40% of all Africans are children under the age of 14 and in most African countries the median age is below 20.
African mothers will have about 450 million children in the 2020s. This is projected to rise to more than 550 million in the 2040s, about 40% of all children born worldwide in that decade.
By 2050, a quarter of the world’s people will be African – this will shape our future | Edward Paice | The Guardian
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