annual report on world population trends says nearly all of the world's
population growth is happening in the world's poorest countries. VOA's Art
to the Washington-based Population Reference Bureau, the
world's poorest countries as a group have higher birth rates and a younger
population compared with richer, industrialized countries.
and more, population growth is switching into the poorer countries of the
world," said Carl Haub, co-author of the group's annual World Population
"And more and more decline in the wealthier countries. So the gap we're
having now in population growth is bigger than it's ever been."
example, Haub compared Italy with the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Today,
they are home to roughly the same number of people, but by 2050, Italy is
expected to grow from 60 to just 62 million people, while Congo's population is
projected to almost triple, from 67 million to 189 million. That's largely
because Congo's birth rate is more than five times higher.
we noticed that in Italy, there were 568,000 births last year. In Congo, almost
three million. That's a bit of a difference."
2050, according to this week's release of the population data sheet, world
population will top 9.3 billion, up from 6.7 billion today.
the next several decades, many of the world's richest countries will actually
lose population. Those that don't, like the United States, will gain population
more from immigration than from higher birth rates.
Reference Bureau official Linda Jacobsen says India's population will grow by
half, but China, now the world's most populous country, is growing much more
this means is that, according to the World Population Data Sheet, in 2050,
India will be the most populous country in the world, China will be second, and
the United States will be third," she said
mid-century, Africa's population will double, to two billion.
poor countries, a higher birth rate and poor health go hand in hand. In many
parts of the world, childbirth is itself a leading cause of death, but Carl
Haub says the chance that a woman will die, at some point in her life, from
complications relating to childbirth varies dramatically.
the developed countries, about one in 7,300 women are likely to die from a
pregnancy-related cause. One in 7,300. In eastern Asia, that's one in 1,200. In
North Africa, one in 210. South Asia, one in 61. And finally, sub-Saharan
Africa, one in 22."
medical care obviously improves the odds of a woman surviving pregnancy and
childbirth, but so does reducing the number of pregnancies she has.
with lots of kids may find it difficult to provide enough nutritious food for
all of them. Richard Sholkin of the Population Reference Bureau points out that
the results of poor nutrition in the first years of life can be charted over a
important share of the world's population doesn't get enough food to eat, or
enough of the right kinds of food. In young children this often leads to
stunting, which means they're especially short for their age. Stunting is
related to cognitive deficits, and it's related to lower productivity as
adults," Sholkin said.
Population Reference Bureau reports that, in developing countries, one person
in five is undernourished; and in some countries, more than half the people are
not getting enough to eat.