We must always monitor population growth. Always.
In its latest projections from June this year, the Population Division of the United Nations’ Department of Economic and Social Affairs predicts that world population will reach 9.6 billion by 2050 and by 2100, population will have reached 10.9 billion. These are ‘medium-variant projections ‘ (MVP), and it is these that I take issue with in this article.
The MVP are used as the UN’s headline population figures. They are reported in the mainstream media, and are perceived as the most likely population outcome. These predictions, particularly the country-specific population breakdowns, are given great consideration by companies and governments when making their current decisions: for example, where should a water purification company build a plant today in order to meet expected future demand in thirty years, or what allocation of public funds should be set aside for pension provision today given the size and demography of the population in 2040.
It’s clear that these projections do play an important role, which is why it’s critical that they should offer realistic estimates of population growth and size. My fear is that for many countries, especially certain developing nations, these projections may turn out to be large underestimations.
Underlying the MVPs are a series of assumptions, stating that global fertility rates will plummet and converge to a rate of 1.85, with most nations reaching it by 2050 and the rest by 2100. The UN Population Division arrives at this figure of 1.85 by calibrating the pace of future fertility decline using the historical experience of countries that underwent a major reduction of fertility rates after 1950, in an era of modern contraception. The MVP is thus an expression of what should be possible if future patterns of behavioural change in childbearing resemble those of the past (this is crucial – bear it in mind for later).
Meeting MVP will require rapid declines in fertility rates. When compared with current fertility rates remaining constant, the Medium Variant Projection requires almost 20 billion fewer people on the planet by 2100.
To read the full article, please click here: http://theworldoutline.com/2013/10/im-always-watching-population-growth-always-watching/
Current World Population
Net Growth During Your Visit