This year the global population is expected to hit seven billion, up from six billion in 1999, indicates estimate. Between now and 2050, an estimated 2.3 billion more people will be added-nearly as many as inhabited the planet as recently as 1950.
The estimates from the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations also project that the population will reach 10.1 billion in 2100.
These sizable increases represent an unprecedented global demographic upheaval, according to David Bloom, Clarence James Gamble Professor of Economics and Demography at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Over the next forty years, nearly all (97 pc) of the 2.3 billion projected increase will be in the less developed regions, with nearly half (49 pc) in Africa. By contrast, the populations of more developed countries will remain flat, but will age, with fewer working-age adults to support retirees living on social pensions.
"Although the issues immediately confronting developing countries are different from those facing the rich countries, in a globalized world demographic challenges anywhere are demographic challenges everywhere," said Bloom.
The study has been published in Science.