World population to reach 8 billion on 15 November 2022 Amid falling growth rates – Nigerian Observer

New York – The world population is expected to reach 8 billion by November 15, 2022, and India is expected to surpass China as the world’s most populous country in 2023, according to World Population Prospects 2022, released today on World Population Day.

“This year’s World Population Day falls during a milestone year, when we expect the birth of the Earth’s eight billionth inhabitant. It is an opportunity to celebrate our diversity, to acknowledge our common humanity and to marvel at health advances that have extended life expectancy and dramatically reduced maternal and child mortality rates, “said UN Secretary-General António Guterres. “At the same time, it is a reminder of our shared responsibility to care for our planet and a moment to reflect on where we still fall short of our obligations to each other,” he added.

The world population is growing at its slowest pace since 1950, after falling below 1 percent in 2020. The latest projections by the United Nations suggest that the world population could grow to about 8.5 billion in 2030 and 9.7 billion in 2050. to reach a peak of about 10.4 billion people during the 2080s and remain at that level until 2100.

World Population Prospects 2022 also states that fertility has declined markedly for many countries in recent decades. Today, two-thirds of the world’s population lives in a country or area where lifelong fertility is below 2.1 births per woman, about the level required for zero long-term growth for a low-mortem population. The population of 61 countries or territories is expected to decline by 1 percent or more between 2022 and 2050 due to persistently low fertility levels and, in some cases, increased emigration rates.

More than half of the projected increase in world population by 2050 will be concentrated in eight countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and the United Republic of Tanzania. Sub-Saharan African countries are expected to contribute more than half of the increase expected by 2050.

“The relationship between population growth and sustainable development is complex and multidimensional,” said Liu Zhenmin, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs. “Rapid population growth makes the eradication of poverty, the fight against hunger and malnutrition, and the increase in the coverage of health and education systems more difficult. Conversely, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, especially those related to health, education and gender equality, will contribute to the reduction of fertility levels and the slowdown in global population growth. ”

In most sub-Saharan Africa, as well as in parts of Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean, the proportion of the working age population (between 25 and 64 years) has increased due to recent reductions in fertility. This shift in the age distribution provides a time-bound opportunity for accelerated per capita economic growth, known as the “demographic dividend”. To maximize the potential benefits of a favorable age distribution, countries should 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.

The share of world population aged 65 and over is expected to rise from 10 per cent in 2022 to 16 per cent in 2050. At that stage the number of persons aged 65 and over worldwide is expected to more than double the number of children among the age 5 and about the same as the number below the age of 12. Countries with aging populations need to take steps to adapt public programs to the growing numbers of older people, including through the establishment of universal health care and long-term care systems and through the sustainability of social improve security and pension systems.

Global life expectancy at birth reached 72.8 years in 2019, an improvement of almost 9 years since 1990. Further reductions in mortality are expected to lead to an average global longevity of approximately 77.2 years in 2050. Yet in 2021, life expectancy for the least developed countries was 7 years behind the world average.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all three components of population change. Global life expectancy at birth has dropped to 71.0 years in 2021. In some countries, successive waves of the pandemic may have caused short-term reductions in the number of pregnancies and births, while for many other countries there is little evidence of an impact on fertility levels or trends. The pandemic has severely limited all forms of human mobility, including international migration.

“Further action by governments aimed at reducing fertility will have little impact on the rate of population growth between now and the middle of the century, due to the youthful age structure of today’s world population. Nevertheless, the cumulative effect of lower fertility, if maintained over several decades, could be a more significant retardation of world population growth in the second half of the century, ”said John Wilmoth, Director of the Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economics. , added. and Social Affairs.

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