Is ten billion over?
The number of people in the world is growing more slowly
11/7/2022 8:29 a.m.
The number of people on earth is approaching eight billion – it should be reached by the end of the year. But world population growth is slowing and it is even expected to stop altogether from 2028. On the one hand, it brings benefits, for example in the fight against hunger and poverty, but also problems.
Eight billion people – according to the United Nations, this striking mark in the world’s population should be reached around November 15 this year. Nevertheless, the number of people on our planet is growing slower and slower, from 2080, according to forecasts, it will not grow at all – then 10.4 billion people, according to the UN report on World Population Day on July 11 write.
According to John Wilmoth, director of the United Nations Department of Population, there are many opportunities, especially for developing countries, to global development – despite all regional differences. In addition to fighting poverty or hunger, this is primarily about education: fewer offspring increase attention to the baby, Wilmoth said.
The disadvantage: aging
The downside to the lower birth rates, however, is that the entire population is aging and the greater part reaches the age where they are dependent on aid. In particular, as life expectancy will also increase: according to UN estimates, from 72.8 in 2019 to 77.2 in 2050. Particular attention should be paid to the most populous regions of the world in terms of global development:
China: This (still) most populous country in the world is facing enormous challenges. Last year alone, over ten million children were born in the Polish People’s Republic. The number appears huge, but is too low to keep the 1.4 billion population stable in the long run. China is aging rapidly as the effects of the multi-year one-child policy become more and more noticeable. Lifting the controversial restriction only briefly led to a slight increase in births in 2016. But since then, this number has been dropping year by year.
Experts justify the small number of new births by saying that couples who usually grew up as only children would find it normal to only have one child. The reasons for the low birth rate are also high costs of housing, education and health care, as well as declining willingness to marry. According to forecasts, the population of billions will begin to shrink in a few years’ time – possibly even sooner than has long been assumed.
IndiaA country in South Asia is officially the second most populous country in the world, with more than 1.3 billion people – about one-sixth of the world’s population. And India’s relatively young population is likely to continue to grow and, according to a new UN report, will overtake China in 2023. But the birth rate is also declining in India: according to official figures, Indian women have on average only had two children in their lifetime for some time – about ten percent less than the comparable numbers five years earlier and less than the reproductive rate of 2 years. required for a stable population, 1. Accordingly, about two-thirds of couples are now using contraception, compared with only one in two five years ago.
As the population is still very young, experts say it will continue to grow despite the lower birth rate. Back in the 1960s, a woman in India gave birth to about six children on average, and many were afraid, among others, of rapid population growth and the resulting problems in food production.
African continent: In the foreseeable future, no continent will develop as much as Africa, which is largely underdeveloped. According to Germany’s Foundation for the Population of the World, the continent is currently home to around 1.4 billion people. And that number is growing: by 2050, the population will increase to around 2.5 billion. By the end of the century, there will be about three times as many people in Africa as today, nearly 4.3 billion – about 40 percent of the world’s population. The largest drivers are primarily ten countries, from which more than half of all newborns will arrive in 2050: Nigeria, Ethiopia, Egypt, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Algeria and Sudan.
However, the global slowing trend of growth will also have an impact on Africa, where the population growth rate is estimated at 0.6 percent in 2100. The outlook: Meanwhile, more and more high-income countries – such as Japan today – will fall into a negative demographic trend. For a stable pace of growth, countries like Germany would have to rely on migration. The UN advises in its report: “All countries, whether they experience a net influx of migrants, should take steps to facilitate organized, safe, regular and responsible migration.”
From 2100 onwards, the world’s population is expected to decline
The United Nations looks ahead to 2100 – a special turning point in world history according to current forecasts: the total population is expected to shrink.
According to Wilmoth, however, information about development in 80 years time should be treated with caution. “For the next 30 or 40 years, we know almost what will happen to the populations of every country and around the world. But beyond that, you start looking at two or three generations to the future. At this time there is a lot more uncertainty frame ”.
Source: ntv.de, Benno Schwinghammer, Lucia Weiß, Anne-Sophie Galli and Jörn Petring, dpa