News / Africa

UN: Global Population Expected to Top 8 Billion by 2025

A Somali woman selling meat from a kiosk holds her child in a market area in the centre of the southern port city of Kismayo, south of Mogadishu, October 7, 2012
A Somali woman selling meat from a kiosk holds her child in a market area in the centre of the southern port city of Kismayo, south of Mogadishu, October 7, 2012
Margaret Besheer
The United Nations is projecting that the world’s population will grow by nearly a billion people in the next 12 years, to more than 8 billion.  In a new report, the U.N. says the developing world is likely to see the biggest population surge, with some of the least developed countries seeing the fastest growth.  

Currently, there are just over 7 billion people on the planet.  The U.N. says that number will grow by almost 1 billion by 2025 and then hit 9.6 billion in 2050.  By the start of the next century, there could be nearly 11 billion people on Earth.

China is the world’s most populous nation, with nearly 1.4 billion people.  But, the U.N. projects that at current growth rates, India likely will surpass China in about 15 years.

The U.N.’s John Wilmoth said Thursday at the report’s launch that fertility, mortality and migration affect population rates, with fertility having the biggest impact.

“There is not only a risk of rapid growth for some countries, there is a risk of population decline for some countries.  So many countries have very low levels of fertility and this presents challenges as well.  If low fertility is maintained over many years, then populations age very rapidly," said Wilmoth.

The report found several developed countries with low fertility rates that have resulted in shrinking and aging populations, including in East Asia and southern and eastern Europe.

At the other extreme are countries where populations are rising rapidly, including in 49 of the world’s least developed countries, many of which are in Sub-Saharan Africa.  In these countries, women are having on average of more than five children each.

“On the other side, of course, is the concern about rapid growth in high fertility countries - and this then raises concerns about the sustainability of those populations, the ability to feed the populations and to provide a standard of living that would be considered acceptable," he said.

Wilmoth says neither challenge is impossible to overcome.  In the past, global growth has surged periodically and society has kept pace with food production and managing aging populations, but he notes it is best to avoid the extremes of rapid growth or low fertility.

You May Like

US Firms Concerned About China's New Cyber Regulations

New rules would require technology companies doing business in financial sector to hand over their source code, adopt Chinese encryption algorithms More

WHO Focus on Ebola Shifts to Ending Outbreak

Focus to be less on building facilities and more on efforts to find infected people, manage their cases, engage with communities and ensure proper burials More

US Scientist Who Conceived of Groundbreaking Laser Technology Dies

Charles Townes, Nobel laureate, laser co-creator paved way for other scientific discoveries: CDs, eye surgery, metal cutters to name a few technologies that rely on lasers More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid