July 29, 2011

Global Population Will Reach 7 Billion By End Of Year

According to new estimates from the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations, the Earth's population is expected to hit 7 billion later this year. 

Experts also say that between now and 2050, about 2.3 billion more people will be added to the global population.

David Bloom, Clarence James Gamble Professor of Economics and Demography at the Harvard School of Public Health, said these sizable increases represent an unprecedented global demographic upheaval. 

Nearly all of the 2.3 billion projected increases over the next forty years will be in the less developed regions, with about 49 percent in Africa.

"Although the issues immediately confronting developing countries are different from those facing the rich countries, in a globalized world demographic challenges anywhere are demographic challenges everywhere," Bloom said in a press release.

The experts say that in 2011, about 135 million people will be born and 57 million will die, which will bring a net increase of 78 million people.

Bloom said depending on whether the number of births per woman continues to decline, the ranges for 2050 vary from 8.1 to 10.6 million, and the 2100 projections vary from 6.2 to 15.8 billion.

He said the population trends indicate a shift in the "demographic center of gravity" from more to less developed regions.

"The demographic picture is indeed complex, and poses some formidable challenges," Bloom said in a press release. "Those challenges are not insurmountable, but we cannot deal with them by sticking our heads in the sand."

The study is published in the journal Science on July 29, 2011.


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