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

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

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