Topic » Population Trends and Demography
In 2011, the world’s population will surpass 7 billion. While the rate of population growth has slowed in most parts of the world, we still increase by nearly 80 million people every year—the equivalent of adding another U.S. to the world every four years. The number of people on the planet has doubled since 1960, and if current growth rates continue, the world’s population would hit 11 billion by 2050. Common estimates of a 9 billion plateau for world population rest of questionable assumptions about falling fertility rates and the availability of contraception. Currently, 215 million women around the world want to avoid pregnancy but need contraception.
Most countries in the developing world have high fertility rates and are getting younger; some developed countries have low fertility rates and are aging. Research has shown that demographics can have a significant impact on countries’ stability, governance, economic development and the well-being of its people. PAI believes that the future of population growth will be shaped by actions we take today, including providing access to family planning.
Updated Report available: The Shape of Things to Come: The Effects of Age Structure on Development By Elizabeth Leahy with Robert Engelman, Carolyn Gibb Vogel, Sarah Haddock and Tod Preston What follows is the result of more than two years of … Continue reading
The phrase “population crisis” once roused fears of uncontrollable growth in human numbers. However, now that many societies have improved women’s status and increased access to family planning, some analysts argue that if there is a population crisis it is … Continue reading
The world will fail to achieve the targets set in the landmark Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) unless population growth is curbed, says a new report from the United Kingdom’s All-Parliamentary Group on Population, Development and Reproductive Health. The report’s findings … Continue reading
By Elizabeth Leahy With the largest population in Africa, Nigeria’s political and economic developments reverberate across the continent. Nigeria chairs the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and is the eighth largest oil exporting country in the world. More … Continue reading
By Robert Engelman Whatever one’s view about population as an issue, few people fervently wish the world were home to a lot more human beings than it is. Some may wonder if another Mahatma Gandhi or an Albert Einstein or … Continue reading
Economists credit declining fertility, from the mid-1960s to the early 1990s, as a major contributor to sustained economic growth among the Asian Tigers—the economically vibrant nations of South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and the former Hong Kong Territory. … Continue reading
Replacement Fertility: Not Constant, Not 2.1, but Varying with the Survival of Girls and Young Women
Robert Engelman and Elizabeth Leahy An unchallenged fixture of many news stories about population aging and decline in developed countries today is the idea that “replacement fertility”—the number of children women must have, on average, over their childbearing years to … Continue reading
How many people will live on the planet 20 years from now? Where will they live? Where will population grow, and where will it decline? The map on this page illustrates a projected possible answer to these questions, applying … Continue reading
More than 850 million people worldwide are classified as undernourished, many of whom suffer from chronic hunger (also known as food insecurity). Rapid population growth is intensifying food insecurity in parts of the developing world, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa where … Continue reading
Continued high rates of AIDS-related illness and death in some of the world’s poorest countries could impose unprecedented changes in their population age structures, stunt their economic development and retard their demographic transition—the change from a population characterized by short … Continue reading
During the last three decades of the 20th century, demographic transition — a population’s shift from high to low rates of birth and death — was associated with continuous declines in the vulnerability of countries to civil conflicts (ethnic wars, … Continue reading