The world’s population will keep growing and could hit 10.1 billion by 2100, instead of stabilizing at just over 9 billion around 2050 as previously projected, according to a report just released by the United Nations.
According to United Nations figures, the 10.1 billion mark will be reached if current fertility rates continue at expected levels. Much of the increase in population is expected to come from sub-Saharan Africa and some countries in Asia, Oceania and Latin America.
The report, prepared by the Population Division at the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), indicates that a small variation in fertility could have major long-term consequences in terms of the size of the world’s population.
Going on the medium projection for world population, which is set to reach 7 billion during 2011, it would pass 8 billion in 2023, 9 billion in 2041, and 10 billion at some stage after 2081.
The report reveals that even a small increase in fertility could result in the world’s population rising to as much as 15.8 billion by 2100. By the same token, a small decrease could result in an overall decline in population to 6.2 billion by 2100.
The U.N. Population division has said that many countries, such as China, Russia, and much of Europe have populations that are ageing, and this will continue as fertility rates decline in these countries.
Life expectancy is projected to rise in most countries, especially as improved treatment for HIV/AIDS cuts early deaths in many developing countries. Global live expectancy is expected to increase from 68 years to 81 years by 2095 to 2100.
If this plays out as the UN expects, will we eventually have to change our blog name to THE 10 BILLION?
Image: Crowd on the streets of Dhaka, Bangladesh, CC licensed by eutrophication & hypoxia