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Stunning stats about the world’s population

1 December 20200 comments

The global population reached an incredible 7.8 billion people in late 2020, but that growth is expected to be coming to a halt by the end of the century.

Although global population is expected to reach 10.9 billion by 2100, falling fertility rates will just about bring an end to population growth.

An analysis of recent data from the Pew Research Center and the United Nations paints a fascinating picture of global demographics into the future.

The global fertility rate is projected to drop to 1.9 births per woman by the end of the century, which is below the replacement rate of 2.1 births, the Pew Research Center reported. In November 2020, the rate was 2.5.

Africa’s population will continue growing. It now stands at 1.3 billion and is projected to double by 2050. More than half of the world’s growth will take place in sub-Saharan Africa.

But other areas have slowed or are slowing. Japan had 400,000 fewer people in 2017, when the number of babies fell short of the number who died. Fertility rates in Europe have been low for decades.

Life expectancy is increasing, and is expected to rise to just over 77 years in 2050, but not in the least developed countries, which are struggling with high rates of mortality and other problems.

In Europe, Italy has the highest percentage of older people. On the other hand, in Afghanistan, which has seen decades of war, the median age is 18.4 years.

China and India remain the largest countries in the world, with populations of more than 1 billion each, though India is projected to eventually overtake China. The smallest state is Vatican City followed by island nations in the Pacific, among them Nauru.

If the global fertility rates are shifting over time, other changes in population have been more abrupt, the result of disease, natural disasters, and wars. The bubonic plague killed nearly 200 million people over the centuries.

Key facts about the global population:

*Asia has a population of 4.7 billion or 61 per cent of the world’s people. China and India each have more than 1 billion people and remain the world’s largest countries. China’s population stands at 1.44 billion, while India’s is at 1.39 billion.

*Asia and the Pacific region are responsible for 40 per cent of international migrants throughout the world. Even more people from these areas are moving within their own countries from rural areas to urban cities.

*Two out of every five people in Asia and the Pacific area live in cities, a number that is expected to rise in the next 20 years as people search for better opportunities within their own countries.

*The fertility rate in Asia averages 2.1 births per woman, close to replacement, but that rate is not the same throughout the region. In East Asia, the family size is 1.7 children for each woman, while in Southeast Asia, it is 2.5.

*The number of people who are 60 or older will double by 2050 to a total of 1.3 billion people in the Asian and Pacific regions. The number of older people is now one in 10. By 2050 that percentage will reach one in four people.

*East and Northeast Asia will have an even larger proportion of older people than other areas. There one in three people will be over 60, and they will mostly be women without pensions or social safety nets.

*Japan is the only country in Asia that is projected to see a 15 per cent drop in its population by 2050. The other countries in this category are all in Europe.

*By 2050, 31 per cent of the Asia-Pacific region’s population is expected to live in the east and northeast sections of Asia, down from 42 per cent in 1980. The shift will be to the south and southwest areas of Asia, which will be home to almost half the population. China’s population will decline 31.4 million in 30 years.

*The Pacific’s share of the total population is rising, from 0.8 per cent in 1980 to 1.1 per cent in 2050, but Cook Islands, a nation of 15 volcanic islands that are spread out over nearly 800,000 square miles of the southern Pacific Ocean between French Polynesia and American Samoa, had the highest population drop in the world at 2.79 per cent in 2017.

*Africa, at 1.3 billion people, is home to 17 per cent of the world’s population. It is the world’s fastest-growing continent. In the coming decades, its large proportion of young people and the growth of their families will play an important role in the distribution of the population.

*The population of Africa’s sub-Saharan area is expected to double in size by 2050. At 2.7 per cent a year, its population is growing more than twice as fast as South Asia, and could reach 2.5 billion people in another 50 years.

*More than half of the world’s population growth expected until 2050 will take place in Africa. This rise in population is projected to take place even if fertility rates fall substantially.

*The world’s seven most populous countries are China, India, the United States, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, and Nigeria. Together they were occupied by 3.97 billion people in 2017 compared to 3.66 billion for every other country.

*Global growth is slowing. After tripling in size, the world’s population now is projected to increase to 9.6 billion in 2050, or by 38 per cent over 40 years.

*Ten countries whose populations are likely to decline by more than 15% by 2050 are in Europe. They include Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Serbia, and Ukraine.

*Life expectancy across the world is expected to rise to 77.1 years in 2050, up from 72.6 years in 2019. The increase is not uniform from country to country. The least developed countries fall 7.4 years behind the global average, as a result of high rates of mother and child mortality, conflicts, and the HIV epidemic.

*In Europe, Italy has the largest proportion of older people, with 30 per cent of its population 60 or older, and a median age of 47. In Germany, the proportion is 29 per cent and in Spain it is 26 per cent.

*With its population’s median age of 36, the youngest European country is Albania. Ireland’s population is also young by a different measure. Among its residents, 21 per cent are younger than 15, the largest share of that age group in any European country.

*The United States and Canada, classified as Northern America by the United Nations, together have the world’s second oldest population. The median age is 39, which is eight years older than the global median age of 31.

*China’s median age is similar to the U.S. median age and Canada’s, at 38. But the other most populous countries in Asia have much younger populations. The median age in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, and the Philippines is 30 or younger, and 25 per cent or more of these populations are 15 or younger.

*Asia’s youngest populations are found in poorer countries. In Afghanistan, where the median age is only 18, and Yemen, where it is 20, wars have killed many adults and only 5 per cent of the population is 60 or older.

*Fertility is expected to fall worldwide to 2.4 children for each woman in the years 2025 to 2030 and 2.0 in the years 2095 to 2100. That’s down from 2.5 children per woman in the years 2010 to 2015 and below the replacement level.

*Countries with high fertility rates are those where women have five or more children on average—and there are 19 countries in Africa and two in Asia. The largest of those are the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda in Africa, and Afghanistan in Asia.

*All of the countries in Europe and Northern America are considered to have low-fertility—below 2.1 births per woman. That is also true for 20 countries in Asia, 17 in Latin America and the Caribbean, three in Oceania, and one in Africa.