Nigeria, alongside eight other countries, will make up over half of the estimated population growth. This will happen between now and 2050. It was disclosed in a new United Nations report released on Monday.
The nine countries expected to show the biggest increase are India, Nigeria and Pakistan. They are followed by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, and Tanzania; as well as Indonesia, Egypt and the United States of America. In all, the population of Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to practically double by 2050.
However, growth in these countries comes against the backdrop of a slowing global fertility rate. In 1990, the average number of births per woman was 3.2; by 2019, this had fallen to 2.5 births per woman. By 2050, this is projected to decline further to 2.2 births.
The report notes that a fertility level of 2.1 births per woman is necessary. This is in order to avoid national population decline; and that could occur over the long run (in the absence of immigration).
By the year 2050, there will be about 9.7 billion people living on Earth. The report revealed that much. However, the overall growth rate will continue to fall. In addition, more countries will have to adapt to the consequences of an ageing population.
The report makes further estimation over the next 30 years; it suggests the global population add an extra two billion people. This will swell the rank of the world’s population; it is currently pegged at 7.7 billion. By the end of the century, the planet will have to sustain around 11 billion.
Above are insights from The World Population Prospects 2019; highlights shows that India will overtake China.
India is expected to show the highest population increase between now and 2050; overtaking China as the world’s most populous country by around 2027.
“Many of the fastest growing populations are in the poorest countries, where population growth brings additional challenges”, said Liu Zhenmin, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).
These challenges include the fight to eradicate poverty; also to combat hunger and malnutrition. Others include greater equality; and improved healthcare and education. The report, he said, offers a “road-map” indicating where to target action and interventions.
The report also shows that the proportion of older people is increasing; in addition, life expectancy remains lower in poorer countries. There will be one in six people over 65 by 2050; up from the current figure of one in 11. Some regions will see the share of older people double in the next 30 years. These include Northern Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Overall life expectancy will increase from 64.2 years in 1990 to 77.1 years in 2050. However, life expectancy in poorer countries will continue to lag behind. Today, the average lifespan of a baby born in one of the least developed countries will be some seven years shorter than one born in a developed country. The main reasons are high child and maternal mortality rates. Others include violence and the continuing impact of the HIV epidemic.