New U.N. projections show that the Earth’s population will reach 11.2 billion by 2100.
The world’s current population is approximately 7.3 billion, a growth of one billion people in the past 12 years. While Earth’s population is still increasing, it is doing so at a slower rate nowadays.
The global population used to grow by around 1.24 percent each year, but that number has now decreased to 1.18 percent, an annual addition of around 83 million people.
Still, Earth is expected to hit its estimated population by the end of the century primarily due to declining child mortality rates and increased life expectancy.
The greatest increases are expected in Africa and Asia. Specifically, Africa will see the greatest surge in population, with more than half of the expected growth occurring there. The continent is expected to have a population of 1.3 billion by 2050.
Asia, on the other hand, is predicted to add one billion people to the global population. Additionally, India is expected to top China as the most populous country within the next seven years.
The majority of the burden will be placed on the poorest and least developed areas, making it hard to achieve equality.
These places include the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Niger, Somalia and Uganda.
With the global population seeing such increases, and the majority of increases coming in the poorest areas, the greatest impacts will be seen on the environment, economy and health.
To help cope with the expected surge in global population, there is a worldwide need for birth control, as well as better care for the aging population.
Not only does birth control help stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, but according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, it prevents almost two million unintended pregnancies in the U.S. every year.
Estimates also show that every $1 spent in family planning funded by the public saves $4 on Medicaid expenses that would be needed for pregnancy care.
Elderly people will soon make up a larger percentage of the world’s population, according to the World Health Organization. With developing countries seeing higher life expectancies, reports indicate that elderly people will soon make up 16 percent of the world’s population.
In fact, it’s estimated that that the number of elderly people on Earth will be higher than the number of infants by 2020.
The biggest threats when it comes to the elderly are chronic and preventable diseases. Moving forward, the goal is to reduce the severity of illnesses such as cancer and diabetes. In doing so, the older population will be able to remain healthy and mobile for a longer period of time.
Accomplishing this goal will also take pressure off the world’s infrastructure that is impacted by the aging population, such as facilities that deal with healthcare and long-term living.
– Matt Wotus
Sources: Healthline News, United Nations
Photo: Tech Times