News

    Biggest Population Growth Seen in Developing Countries

    Multimedia

    Audio

    An 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 Chimes reports.

    According 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.

    "More 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 Data Sheet. "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."

    For 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.

    "And we noticed that in Italy, there were 568,000 births last year. In Congo, almost three million. That's a bit of a difference."

    By 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.

    Over 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.

    Population 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 slowly.

    "What 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

    By mid-century, Africa's population will double, to two billion.

    In 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.

    "In 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."

    Better medical care obviously improves the odds of a woman surviving pregnancy and childbirth, but so does reducing the number of pregnancies she has.

    Families 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 lifetime.

    "An 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.

    The 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.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clownsi
    X
    February 09, 2016 8:04 PM
    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay Prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East Affairs and national security.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.