The world’s population is likely to grow to 10.1 billion by the end of this century, from the current total of about 7 billion, according to the first United Nations forecast for the year 2100.
The projection has “serious implications” for the ability to provide food, water, energy, education and employment for millions of people in the world’s poorest nations, according to Hania Zlotnick, director of the population division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, which released the report today in New York.
“Much of this increase is projected to come from the high-fertility countries, which comprise 39 countries in Africa, nine in Asia, six in Oceania and four in Latin America,” the report said.
The UN presented three scenarios, including a less likely “high projection variant” that foresees an increase in the world population to 10.6 billion in 2050 and 15.8 billion in 2100. The lowest projection, also considered unlikely, is based on a reduction in the global birth rate and foresees a decline in the world population to 6.2 billion in 2100.
“We are raising the alarm that even though the population of the world has reduced its growth rate enormously, current growth rates are too high,” Zlotnick said. “And you could have even more billions than our most likely scenario. That is where we see a danger.”