Africa’s Challenging Demographic Future

October 26, 2015 • Daily Email Recap

OpEd: Africa’s challenging demographic future
Our planet is expected to have 11.2 billion people in 2100, according to the U.N.’s just-released revision of the medium world population projections. With a 2015 population of 7.3 billion, this represents an increase of 3.9 billion over the remainder of this century. The projected expansion of human numbers is very unevenly spread around the world, with declines in Europe and East Asia and modest further growth in South and West Asia and in North and South America. In contrast, sub-Saharan Africa is expected to continue expanding rapidly with its population quadrupling from 0.96 to 3.93 billion between 2015 and 2100. The bulk of future world population growth will be in this continent.
The new projection for the world is the highest ever made by the U.N. In fact, it is 2.1 billion higher than the U.N. projection published in 2004, which expected a world population of just 9.1 billion in 2100. A revision of this magnitude in such a short time is unprecedented. Also surprising, this upward revision is largely confined to one area of the world – sub-Saharan Africa – where the projection for 2100 increased from 1.9 billion to 3.9 billion inhabitants. Instead of expecting 1 billion more Africans according to the 2004 projection, the U.N. now expects 3 billion more by 2100 (see Figure 1).

Current World Population


Net Growth During Your Visit