Reductions in fertility have led to demographic divide in the Caribbean

Recent declines in fertility have led to a “demographic dividend” in Latin America and the Caribbean as recent United Nations projections suggest that the world population could grow to about 8.5 billion in 2030 and 9.7 billion in 2050, before reaching a peak of about 10.4 billion people during the 2080s.

It is said that the population is expected to remain at that level until 2100.

The annual study, released on Monday to coincide with World Population Day (WPD), also notes that the world population is growing at the slowest pace since 1950, after falling to less than one percent in 2020.

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Fertility, the report states, has declined markedly in recent decades for many countries: today, two-thirds of the world’s population lives in a country or area where lifelong fertility is below 2.1 births per woman, the level needed for no growth in the long run, for a population with a low mortality rate.

In 61 countries or territories, the population is expected to decline by at least one percent over the next three decades, due to persistently low fertility levels and, in some cases, increased emigration rates.

The UN notes that in most sub-Saharan African countries, as well as in parts of Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean, recent declines in fertility have led to a “demographic dividend”, with an increase in the share of working people. age population (25 to 64 years), which provides an opportunity for accelerated economic growth per capita.

The report argues that in order to make the most of this opportunity, countries need to invest in the further development of their human capital, by ensuring access to health care and quality education at all ages, and by promoting opportunities for productive work and decent work. .

It said achieving the UN’s goals for sustainable development, especially those related to health, education and gender equality, would contribute to reducing fertility levels and slowing global population growth.

“Nevertheless, the cumulative effect of lower fertility, if maintained over several decades, could be a more significant slowdown in world population growth in the second half of the century.”

Liu Zhenmin, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, warned that rapid population growth was making the eradication of poverty, the fight against hunger and malnutrition and increasing the coverage of health and education systems more difficult.

The world should expect to see much more gray hair by 2050: by that time, the number of people aged 65 or older worldwide is expected to be more than twice the number of children under the age of five, and about the same as the number under the age of 12.


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