global population increase
June 14, 2013

Global Population Could Reach 11 Billion By 2100

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

The world population could reach nearly 11 billion before the end of the century, according to revised United Nations (UN) predictions released on Thursday.

It was just two years ago the global population reached the seven billion person milestone, and at that time UN researchers predicted there would be 10.1 billion men and women inhabiting the Earth by the year 2100.

However, the revised forecast increased that number by about 800 million, or roughly eight percent.

The projected increase is primarily due to fertility in Africa, researchers from the University of Washington explained. UN officials had expected birth rates on that continent to decline more quickly than they have.

However, that fertility decline “has slowed down or stalled to a larger extend than predicted,” said Adrian Raftery, professor of statistics and sociology at the Seattle-based institution, “and as a result the African population will go up.”

Currently, the population of Africa is approximately 1.1 billion, but according to the UN, it is now expected to increase nearly fourfold, to 4.2 billion, by 2100. These figures are the result of new statistical methods developed by Raftery and his colleagues at the UW Center for Statistics and the Social Sciences.

“The group´s improved fertility forecasting methods, combined with updated data collected by the UN, were used to project the long-term consequences of the fertility change in Africa since the last population estimate two years ago,” the university said. “New to this year´s projection are finer-tuned statistics that anticipate the life expectancies of women and men across this century.”

The largest increase is expected to come in Nigeria, where the population is expected to increase by 730 million people (from 184 million in 2013 to 914 million in 2100), the UN reported. In fact, eight of the top 10 increases by nation will come in Africa, with India (second) and the US (eighth) being the only other countries on the list.

The most notable decline is expected in China, where the population will fall by 300 million from 1.4 billion to 1.1 billion, they added. In most other areas of the world, population changes aren´t anticipated to be quite so drastic. The report said Europe could see a slight decline due to fertility continuing below replacement level, while other countries could see modest increases due to rising life expectancies.

Raftery noted that there seems to be no discernible end to the increase of the world´s population, and that the UN´s findings “show that we need to renew policies, such as increasing access to family planning and expanding education for girls, to address rapid population growth in Africa.”

Image 2 (below): The expected population changes from now to 2100 are shown in the graphic. By far the largest expected increase is in Nigeria, projected to increase by 730 million people, from 184 million now to 914 million in 2100. Eight of the top ten increases are in Africa, with India in second place. The United States is eighth, with an expected increase of 146 million, or 46 percent, from 316 million now to 462 million in 2100. The largest projected decline is in China, expected to decrease by about 300 million, from 1.4 billion now to 1.1 billion in 2100. Credit: UW Center for Statistics and the Social Sciences