World population hits 8 billion this year as growth slows |

According to the latest UN projections, the world population could grow to around 8.5 billion in 2030 and to 9.7 billion in 2050. peaking at about 10.4 billion people in the 2080s.. The population is expected to remain at this level until 2100.

Lowest growth rate since the 1950s

However, the annual World population perspective report released on Monday to coincide with world population dayalso notes that The world’s population is growing at the slowest pace since 1950.falling less than one percent in 2020.

Fertility, the report says, has declined markedly over the past decades in many countries: Today, two-thirds of the world’s population lives in a country or area where lifetime fertility is less than 2.1 births per woman, about the level needed for zero growth in the long term. perspective for populations with low mortality.

In 61 countries or areas, populations are expected to decline by at least one percent over the next three decades as a result of persistently low birth rates and, in some cases, increased emigration rates.

COVID-19 The pandemic has affected population change: global life expectancy at birth has fallen to 71 years in 2021 (compared to 72.9 years in 2019), and in some countries, successive waves of the pandemic may have resulted in short-term reductions in pregnancies and births.

“Further government action to reduce fertility will have little impact on population growth rates between now and mid-century due to the youthful age structure of today’s world population,” said John Wilmot, director of the UN Population Division. Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).

“Nonetheless, the cumulative effect of lower fertility, if sustained for several decades, could lead to a larger slowdown in global population growth in the second half of the century.“.

© ADB/Richard Atrero de Guzman

People wearing protective masks in Tokyo, Japan.

Growth concentrated in eight countries

More than half of the projected world population growth by 2050 will be concentrated in eight countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and the United Republic of Tanzania.

Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to account for more than half of the growth expected through 2050.
Liu Zhenmin, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, warned that rapid population growth is making it difficult to eradicate poverty, fight hunger and malnutrition, and expand the coverage of health and education systems.

“demographic dividend”

In most of sub-Saharan Africa, as well as parts of Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, the recent decline in fertility has resulted in a “demographic dividend” with an increase in the proportion of the working-age population (from 25 to 64), allowing for accelerated economic growth per capita.

To make the most of this opportunity, the report argues, countries must invest in further developing their human capital, ensuring access to health care and quality education for all ages, and encouraging productive and decent work opportunities.

UN achievement Sustainable Development Goalsespecially those related to health, education and gender equality, will contribute to lowering the birth rate and slowing the growth of the world population.

People walk along a busy street in a popular shopping area in midtown Manhattan, New York.

Unsplash/Yav Aziz

People walk along a busy street in a popular shopping area in midtown Manhattan, New York.

More older people living longer

By 2050, the world should see far more gray hair: by then, the number of people aged 65 years and over worldwide is expected to be more than double the number of children under the age of five, and about the same as the number in under the age of 12.

Further reductions in mortality are projected to bring average global life expectancy to around 77.2 years in 2050. However, in 2021, life expectancy in the least developed countries was seven years behind the global average.

The report recommends that countries with aging populations take steps to adapt government programs to the growing number of older people by building universal health care and long-term care systems and making social security and pension systems more resilient.

“This year, World Population Day falls on a momentous year as we expect the birth of the eight billionth inhabitant of the Earth,” the UN said in a statement. General Secretary António Guterresresponding to the findings of the report.

This is an occasion to celebrate our diversity, recognize our shared humanity, and celebrate advances in health care that have increased life expectancy and greatly reduced maternal and child mortality,” he added. “In the same time, it is a reminder of our shared responsibility to look after our planet and a moment to reflect on where we are still falling short of our obligations to each other.“.

world population day

“Let’s protect human rights and the ability of all people to make informed choices about whether and when to have children,” the statement said. This was stated by the head of the UN in his message. marking world population dayconsistent with the report.

We still live in a world of huge gender inequalityand we are seeing a resurgence of attacks on women’s rightsincluding for basic health services,” said the Secretary General.

He called the day “an occasion to celebrate our diversity, to acknowledge our shared humanity, and to admire the advances in health care that have increased life expectancy and dramatically reduced maternal and child mortality.”

At the same time, Mr Guterres called it a reminder of “our shared responsibility to look after our planet and a moment to reflect on where we are still falling short of our obligations to each other.”

In the context of COVID-19, the climate crisis, wars and conflicts, humanitarian emergencies, hunger and poverty, he stated that “our world is in danger“.

“Complications related to pregnancy and childbirth continue to be the leading cause of death for girls aged 15 to 19.”

Mr. Guterres emphasized that “eight billion people means eight billion opportunities to live a decent and fulfilling life“.

He called on everyone to contribute to a common future with greater equality and solidarity for the planet and future generations.

Road to Prosperity

World Population Day is an opportunity to celebrate human progress, World Population Fund (UNFPA) said in his message For a day.

Despite global challenges, UNFPA affirmed that we live in a world where “a higher proportion of people are educated and live healthier lives than ever before.”

“Societies that invest in their people, in their rights and choices, have proven time and time again that this is the path to the prosperity and peace that everyone wants and deserves.”

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