World Population Day seeks to bring attention to important population issues of today. At present there are more than 7.8 billion people in the world. By 2050 the world population is projected to reach 9.7 billion, an increase of 1.9 billion people over 30 years.
The past decades have seen major changes in fertility and life expectancy. In the early 1950s women had on average 5.0 children each. This has since declined to 2.5 children per woman globally, and 1.7 in Australia. Meanwhile, in line with technological and medicinal advances, life expectancy has increased. In the 1950s, life expectancy at birth was 47 years of age and has since increased to 72 years (globally).
Global population growth outlook
Population growth over the next three decades will not be uniform across the world. Almost 60% of the world’s population growth in the next 30 years is projected to occur in Africa. Adding more than 1.1 billion people over the next three decades, Africa is projected to be the fastest growing region across the world.
Asia is also projected to add more than 610 million people over the same period. This growth, however, is projected to slow gradually. Over the next decade, the population of Asia is projected to grow at a ten-year rate of 6%. This is projected to slow to rates of 4% and 2% in subsequent decades.
The next several decades will be important in setting the tone for future generations. Addressing challenges brought about by an increasing population and implementing sustainable development and resource consumption will be essential for a thriving society.
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