On 17 June 2019, the United Nations released a report entitled “The World Population Prospects 2019: Highlights”, providing a comprehensive overview of global demographic patterns and prospects. The key statistics about world population trends highlighted in the report are compiled as following:
- The world’s population is expected to increase by 2 billion persons in the next 30 years, from 7.7 billion currently to 9.7 billion in 2050 and 10.9 billion in 2010.
- Nine countries will be responsible for more than half the projected population growth between now and 2050, including (in descending order) India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Indonesia, Egypt and the United States.
- The population of sub-Saharan Africa is projected to double by 2050.
- Around 2027, India is projected to overtake China as the world’s most populous country, with more than 1.45 billion people. By 2050, India’s population may reach 1.6 billion.
- Many of the fastest growing populations are in the poorest countries, where population growth brings additional challenges in the effort to eradicate poverty, combat hunger and malnutrition and strengthen the coverage and quality of health.
- Between 2019 (now) and 2050, populations are projected to decrease by one per cent or more in 55 countries or areas, and almost half of these will experience a reduction of at least 10 per cent.
- Average global life expectancy, which increased from 64.2 years in 1990 to 72.6 years in 2019, is expected to increase further to 77.1 years in 2050.
- People in the poorest or least-developed countries still live 7.4 years less than the global average, and 15 years less than in the well-developed countries.
- By 2050, one in six people in the world will be over age 65 (16%), up from one in 11 in 2019 (9%).
- By 2050, one in four persons living in Europe and Northern America could be aged 65 or over.
- In some regions including Northern Africa, Asia and Latin America, the population aged 65 years or over is projected to double in the next 30 years (2019-2050).
- In 2018, for the first time in history, persons aged 65 or above outnumbered children under five years of age globally.
- by 2050 there will be more than twice as many persons above 65 as children under five.
- By 2050, the number of persons aged 65 years or over will surpass the number of adolescents and youth aged 15 to 24 years globally.
- The number of persons aged 80 years or over is projected to triple, from 143 million in 2019 to 426 million in 2050.
- The potential support ratio, which compares numbers of persons at working ages to those over age 65, is falling around the world.
- The global fertility rate fell from 3.2 births per woman in 1990 to 2.5 births in 2019 and is projected to decline further to 2.2 births by 2050.
- A fertility level of 2.1 births per woman is needed to avoid population decline over the long run in the absence of immigration. The countries with fertility above this level are mainly located in Africa and Asia.
- In 2019, sub-Saharan Africa’s fertility rate was the highest at 4.6 births per woman, followed by Oceania excluding Australia and New Zealand (3.4), Northern Africa and Western Asia (2.9), and Central and Southern Asia (2.4).
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