9.1 Billion People
Interesting predictions about global population trends from the UN:
The human race is expected to swell from the current 6.5 billion to 9.1 billion people by 2050, with populations exploding in hungry developing countries and stagnating in rich nations, the United Nations predicted Thursday.
The increase of 2.6 billion people is equivalent to the combined populations of China and India today, according to the U.N. Population Division's "2004 Revision" report.
But the overall trend shows a lower rate of growth than during the past 20 to 50 years, confirming previous estimates that the global population is rising but slowly stabilizing.
"The population continues to grow but at a lower pace, said Thomas Buettner, author of the report. "Family planning and lower fertility make the difference."
In rich nations, declining birth rates means little or no population growth. An exception is the United States, which benefits from a relatively high number of immigrants, who have more children in the first generation.
Industrial countries as a whole are expected to see little change in their total population of 1.2 billion. In fact, a decline is forecast by 2050 in Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and other states of the former Soviet Union.
Between 2005 and 2050, the population is projected to triple in Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Chad, Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger and Uganda.
By 2050 India will have surpassed China in population and the two will account for about 50 percent of the world's inhabitants. Women in India have an average of 3 children compared to 1.7 children in China, the report said.
Most of the world's population lives in a very few countries. Four out of 10 people live in China or India and 8 of 10 inhabitants live in the United States, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan Russia, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Japan, the report said.