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

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid