Ever since the end of the Second World War there has been a population explosion around the world. Today the world’s population is at 7 billion and rising. This is mainly due to better living conditions and better health care for the world’s population at large (relative to almost a century ago).
The average age has risen to 75, the most common diseases are easily curable and even though much of the world’s population lives in poverty, there has been steady improvement in the lives of the average human being (its really hard to believe isn’t it). But this in itself has caused a problem. The world population is projected to reach about 12 billion by the turn of the next century according to the UN. Controlling the population has become a major issue.
Using a tool called Bayesian Statistics, the UN report outlines the future of population growth. It reveals that due to high fertility and birth rates, Africa will be home to about 4 billion people near 2100 (four times its current population). However continents like Asia and North America won’t share the same fate. Asia’s population is estimated to peak at 5 billion near 2050 and then decline and the North American Continent will be home to just over a billion people.
This new way of projecting populations was adopted when the previous consensus that the world population would reach 9 billion and level off clearly failed the test of time. Many scenarios such as war, famine, poverty, economic prosperity, family planning and technological advancement all come in to play when projecting the future of population, one can never be completely sure.