World Population Growth Unsustainable: the UN

Added by on February 5, 2011

If the world population is to stand a chance of stabilising itself, the growth rate must slow down significantly with fertility rates below the replacement level, the UN says in a new report.

The report, “World Demographic Trends” which was released on Friday by the UN Population Division ahead of the UN Commission on Population and Development, adds that a slowing-down is not enough on its own; the level must then be maintained for an extended amount of time to ensure a sustainable world population.

The UN Population Division has developed six projections of future population development based on different fertility levels as well as other factors. With a global population already expected to reach 7 billion this year, it could potentially double by 2100. In a medium scenario, it would peak at 9.4 billion in 2070, after which it would start to decline.

However, for this scenario to become reality, fertility levels in developing countries have to drop drastically, but even if this was to happen, Africa’s population is expected to increase by 150 percent by 2100, and in some individual African countries it will increase four-fold or more.

Even seemingly small deviations from the replacement fertility level – the level at which a population replaces itself from one generation to the next – can have dramatic changes in the size of the world population.

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