Thursday, August 13, 2009

New report puts world population at 7 billion by 2011

By Ethian Gavish

By 2011, the world’s population should reach 7 billion, according to a new report put forth by the Population Reference Bureau’s 2009 World Population Data Sheet.

The report states that 97% of global growth over the next 40 years will occur in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.

“The great bulk of today's 1.2 billion youth - nearly 90% - are in developing countries,” said Carl Haub, a co-author of the report, to CNN.

Immigration of the rural youth into more developed places will probably continue into 2011.

“During the next few decades, these young people will most likely continue the current trend of moving from rural areas to cities in search of education and training opportunities, gainful employment and adequate health care,” Haub told CNN.

The U.S. and Canada will account for most of the growth in the developed world - half coming from immigration alone - the report states.

The report also says that high fertility rates combined with a young population base is the fuel behind most of the growth in the developing world. In Africa, women give birth to six or seven children on average, compared with about two children in the U.S. and 1.5 in Canada.

By 2050, the report shows that Canadian population will be up from 31 million to 42 million, while Uganda will increase a staggering 34 million to 96 million.

“Even with declining fertility rates in many countries, world population is still growing at a rapid rate,” Bill Butz, president of the bureau, told CNN. “The increase from 6 billion to 7 billion is likely to take 12 years, as did the increase from 5 billion to 6 billion. Both events are unprecedented in world history.”

The report forecasts that India will lead the world in population by 2050, increasing to 1.7 billion. Such a boost in population will overtake ranking leader China, where the population is predicated to reach 1.4 billion.

According to the report, the No. 3 slot in 2050 will go to the U.S., with a projected population of 439 million.