POPULATION: Poorest Countries to Bear Brunt of Growth

April 24, 2010 • Daily Email Recap

Thanks to Dave Simcox for this article from Inter Press Service. The author discounts the UN projection of significantly reduced fertility rates by 2050. It is probably unrealistic to assume no decline in fertility rates, but the UN median projection may also be based on unrealistic assumptions. The major determinant of the outcome by 2050 will be what the donor community does to support family planning information and services.

The world’s population – already at least 6.7 billion people – will double in the next 40 years if current growth rates are left unchecked, warns the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

The effects of overpopulation are being felt across the globe, but the fastest growing regions are also some of the poorest. Sub-Saharan Africa has the most rapid overall growth, exacerbating existing problems like famine, disease and violent conflict over resources.

“What we see is countries like Kenya, which had stabilised its growth, are now growing faster again,” Alex Ezeh, executive director of the Africa Population and Health Research Centre, told IPS. “By 2050 Kenya is projected to have 87 million people.”

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