Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

United Nations says world population nearing 7.2 billion

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
June 14th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The world's population will hit 7.2 billion next month and 10.9 billion by 2100, according to the United Nation's latest "World Population Prospects" report. The majority of the growth is a result of high birthrates in the developing world, the U.N. says.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The number of people inhabiting the planet at the start of the next century could top 16.6 billion -- or could be as low as 6.8 billion.

The population in the world's poorest regions, regardless is anticipated to rise dramatically. The United Nations says that the number of inhabitants in the world's least developed countries is projected to double, from 898 million inhabitants this year to 1.8 billion in 2050. The number will soar to 2.9 billion by 2100, the report said.

"Although population growth has slowed for the world as a whole, this report reminds us that some developing countries, especially in Africa, are still growing rapidly," Wu Hongbo, United Nations Undersecretary General for Economic and Social Affairs, said in a statement.

In stark contrast, the population in the world's developed nations is expected to stay largely unchanged, inching upward from 1.25 billion this year to around 1.28 billion in 2100.

India's population is expected to surpass China's around 2028. Both countries will have populations of around 1.45 billion by then, according to the report. While India's population is forecast to grow to around 1.6 billion and then slowly decline to 1.5 billion in 2100, China's is expected to start decreasing after 2030, possibly falling to 1.1 billion in 2100, it said.

In a bit of contradictory news, the report also found that global fertility rates are falling rapidly, though not nearly fast enough to avoid a significant population jump over the next decades.

The U.N. revised its population projection upward since its last report two years ago, mostly due to higher fertility projections in the countries with the most children per women. The previous projection had the global population reaching 9.3 billion people in 2050.

"As a result, these populations are aging rapidly and face challenges in providing care and support to their growing ranks of older persons," John Wilmoth, director of the Population Division in the U.N.'s Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

Wilmoth cautions that "there is a great deal of uncertainty about population trends" and that projections could change based on the trajectories of three major components - fertility, mortality and migration. Population growth until 2050 is all but inevitable.

Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)