Magazine article UN Chronicle

8.5. Billion by 2025

Magazine article UN Chronicle

8.5. Billion by 2025

Article excerpt

8.5 billion by 2025

The trend towards slower population growth which began in the early 1970s will continue into the next century, according to revised world population estimates released in June 1989 by the UN Population Division.

A drop in fertility throughout the 1970s brought the growth rate of the world population down from an all-time high of more than 2 per cent a year from 1965 through 1970 to the current 1.7 per cent. The report--World Population Prospects, 1988--states that after a 15-year plateau at that level, the growth rate will resume its decline in the early 1990s, reaching 1.5 per cent in the period 1995-2000 and less than 1 per cent from 2020 through 2025.

But world population, estimated at 5 billion in mid-1988 and expected to reach 8.5 billion in 2025, is still increasing faster each year in absolute numbers. Not until the beginning of the next century, the report predicts, will the slower growth rate translate into an actual downturn in the number of people added to the world annually.

The world population is also growing older. The mediam age--half younger, half older--has risen from less than 22 years to more than 23 between 1970 and 1985. It is expected to reach 26 in 2000, and more than 31 in 2025. …

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