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World's population to hit seven billion this year...

… and over 10 billion by 2100. Most of a 2.3bn increase by 2050 will be in less developed regions.

Image: Umasankar Roy Choudhury/AP/Press Association Images

GET READY TO budge up – the world’s population is going to reach the seven-billion mark this year.

A report in Science research journal today has said that the global population will further expand by between 2 and 4.5 billion by the time we hit the year 2100. There has already been a huge bump in population in the past decade. In 1999, the world’s population was six billion. These new projections come from the Population Division of the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

Author of this report, David E Bloom, said that the world is “in the midst of the greatest demographic upheaval in human history”. Reductions in the mortality rate saw the world’s population pretty much double between 1960 and 2000, a marked change from the historically slow increase in population. He said:

A further increase of 2 to 4.5 billion is projected for the current half-century, with the increase concentrated in the world’s least developed countries. Despite alarmist predictions, historical increases in population have not been economically catastrophic. Moreover, changes in population age structure have opened the door to increased prosperity.

However, Bloom warned that governments will have to start considering the management of the population boom, which will have “profound repercussions for human well-being and progress”.

A massive 97 per cent of the 2.3 billion extra people expected over the next 40 years are estimated to be in less developed regions, according to Science Daily. Nearly half of those will be in Africa.

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