The world’s population is growing more slowly, United Nations report finds

The world's population is getting older and growing at a slower pace but is still expected to increase from 7.7 billion now to 9.7 billion in 2050, the United Nations said Monday.

The rate of population growth is the highest in sub-Saharan Africa, where the fertility rate stand at 4.6 births per woman over a lifetime. The average number of births per woman globally, from 3.2 in 1990, fell to 2.5 by 2019, and is projected to fall further to 2.2 births by 2050.

Global population growth will almost grind to a stop by the end of the century, a new analysis by the Pew Research Center suggests.

But Population Division Director John Wilmoth cautioned that because 2100 is many decades away this outcome "is not certain, and in the end the peak could come earlier or later, at a lower or higher level of total population".

The report is based on population estimates from 1950 to the present for 235 countries or areas.

India is set to overtake China as the most populous country by 2027 and will have nearly 1.64 billion inhabitants by 2050, says a United Nations report, adding that South Asia's opportunity to reap the "demographic dividend" will peak by 2047.

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Globally, people aged above 65 are the fastest growing age group, putting pressure on social protection systems as the proportion of the working-age population shrinks.

The report confirmed that the world's population is growing older due to increasing life expectancy and falling fertility levels.

In sub-Saharan Africa, population is projected to almost double by 2050, the report said. By 2100, the global fertility rate is expected to dip to 1.9 births per woman. The U.S. population is estimated to be about 434 million.

Migration from the rest of the world will drive population growth in the Northern America region, according to the report. However, the "demographic dividend" will peak by 2047 in the region, meaning that countries such as India must rush to invest in education and health, especially for young people, the report says.

But to achieve this, he said, people also need access to modern methods of contraception.

What's more, the United Nations report found that the global average age to which people live will increase from 31 to 42 by 2100. Bangladesh, Nepal and the Philippines are seeing the largest migratory outflows resulting from the demand for migrant workers; and Myanmar, Syria and Venezuela are the countries where the largest numbers are leaving because of insecurity or conflict, it said. And immigration is expected to plug the gaps of population, particularly in Belarus, Estonia, and Germany.

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