Study: World Population Could Nearly Double by 2100

posted: 08/10/15
by: Danny Clemens
People on the street
Leonardo Patrizi/iStock

It's about to get a lot more crowded.

A United Nations report released Monday forecasts that the world's population could nearly double by the end of the century, potentially reaching 13.3 billion. More conservative projections place the ultimate population closer to 11 billion.

Population growth will be driven primarily by Sub-Saharan Africa, which currently sits at around 1.2 billion and could rise as high as 5.6 billion. The region's boom can be attributed to "persistent high levels of fertility and the recent slowdown in the rate of fertility decline."

According to the report, however, Asia will still hold the distinction of being the most populous continent. The continent's population will peak around 2050 before declining slightly in the back half of the century.

"These results have important policy implications for national governments. Rapid population growth in high-fertility countries can exacerbate a range of existing problems: environmental (resource scarcity and pollution), health (maternal and child mortality), economic (unemployment, low wages and poverty), governmental (lagging investments in health, education and infrastructure) and social (political unrest and crime)," the report said.

The rate at which the world's population has grown has increased steadily in recent centuries: it took 123 years for the population to grow from 1 billion in 1804 to 2 billion in 1927, but only 12 years to increase from 5 billion in 1987 to 6 billion in 1999. In 2011, the world population hit 7 billion, a day that the United Nations declared "The Day of 7 Billion."

Click here for more information from the United Nations

Learn more about population growth:

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Population Growth

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