- The 2019 Revision of World Population Prospects, the twenty-sixth round of official United Nations population estimates and projections, has been published.
- It’s been prepared by the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat.
In focus: World Population Prospects 2019
- The global demographic megatrends include
- Population Growth
- Population Ageing
- Migration and
- The World Population Prospects projects trends in two of these global demographic megatrends namely population growth and population ageing.
- Besides, it also elaborates trends in human fertility, mortality, and international migration.
- The World Population Prospects 2019 presents population projections to the year 2100 at the global, regional and country levels.
- It acts as the empirical base for monitoring global progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, 2030.
- The future demographic trends can be act as aid to policy makers to frame future development policies.
Key Highlights of WPP 2019
Demographic megatrend 1: Population Growth
- General Trends
- The world population will continue to grow from 7.7 billion currently to 8.5 billion in 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050, and 10.9 billion in 2100.
- The world population growth rate has dropped to 1.1% per year during 2015-2020 from peak levels of 2.1% during 1965-70.
- Currently, East & Southeast Asia and Central & Southern Asia are the 2 most populous regions of the world with 2.3 billion and 2.0 billion people respectively.
- This is set to change with sub-Saharan Africa set to become the most populous region by 2062.
- Sub-Saharan African alone will account for 1 billion additions in the world population by 2050.
- About 25% will be accounted by Central and Southern Asia including (India) between 2019 and 2050.
- East and Southeast Asia, Central and South Asia will peak around 2065 and will start to decline before 2100.
- Europe and Northern America have already stabilized their population size to about 1 billion which will grow to just 1.14 billion around 2042 and decline thereafter to about 1.12 billion at the end of the century.
- Latin America and the Caribbean will peak to about 770 million around 2058 and decline thereafter to less than 700 million in 2100.
- Australia and New Zealand will grow from 30 million currently to 38 million in 2050 and 49 million in 2100.
- Indian scenario
- India will add about 273 million people between 2019 and 2050.
- India will surpass China as the world’s most populous country around 2027.
- Highest growth rates
- 47 least developed countries will post a high population growth rate
- 18 of these LDCs in Sub-Saharan Africa will witness doubling of population size by 2050 with Niger nearly tripling by 2050.
- More than half of the increase in the global population will be concentrated in only 9 countries including India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Indonesia, Egypt and USA
Various factors causing population changes
- The current population structure of the world is dominated by young population which will enter the reproductive age and account for 68% of the population growth between 2020 and 2050.
Fall in fertility levels
- The slowing growth rate is due to reduced fertility levels from 2.5 births per woman in 2019 to around 2.2 in 2050 and further to 1.9 in 2100.
Demographic megatrend 2: Population Ageing
- People aged above 65 belong to the fastest growing age group globally with 1 in 6 people above 65 by 2050 from current 1 in 11.
- The working age population of the world is set to shrink.
- Further, for the first time, in 2018 the 65 and above age group have surpassed the under five category.
- By 2050, almost 50 countries are expected to have less than two working-age people to support every person above 65.
- Requires enhanced social protection system
- The proportion of working-age people supporting ageing population will become low.
- The labour market, and thus productivity, will be reduced.
- In addition, the need for public health care, pensions etc will add fiscal pressure on the governments world over.
- In India, on the other hand, the working-age population (25-64 years) is growing faster than other groups which will peak in 2047.(Demographic dividend)
- Further, the under-5 population in India outnumbers above-65 group.
- However, it will change between 2025 and 2030.
- By 2050, above-65 group will constitute 1/7th of India’s population.
- Globally, the life expectancy will increase from 64.2 years in 1990 to 77.1 years in 2050.
- Currently, India’s life expectancy at birth is 69 years compared to world average of 72 years.
- The lower than average life expectancy is prevalent in LDCs due to high IMR and MMR, conflict and insecurity, and HIV epidemic.