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

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid