By Victor Gbonegan

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Nigeria among countries to account for projected increase by 2050

The latest UN projections suggest that the world’s population could grow to around 8.5 billion in 2030 and 9.7 billion in 2050, before reaching a peak of around 10.4 billion people during the 2080s. The population is expected to remain at that level until 2100.

The yearly report released on Monday, coincided with World Population Day, also noted that the global population is growing at its slowest rate since 1950, having fallen to less that one per cent in 2020.

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Fertility, the report declares, has fallen markedly in recent decades for many countries: today, two-thirds of the global population live in a country or area where lifetime fertility is below 2.1 births per woman, roughly the level required for zero growth in the long run, for a population with low mortality.

In 61 countries or areas, the population is expected to decrease by at least one per cent over the next three decades, as a result of sustained low levels of fertility and, in some cases, elevated rates of emigration.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an effect on population change: global life expectancy at birth fell to 71 years in 2021 (down from 72.9 in 2019) and, in some countries, successive waves of the pandemic may have produced short-term reductions in numbers of pregnancies and births.

The Director of the Population Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), John Wilmoth, said: “Further actions by governments aimed at reducing fertility would have little impact on the pace of population growth between now and mid-century, because of the youthful age structure of today’s global population,” said

“Nevertheless, the cumulative effect of lower fertility, if maintained over several decades, could be a more substantial deceleration of global population growth in the second half of the century.”

According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), people are the solution and not the problem to population issues.

Dr Natalia Kanem, Executive Director, UNFPA, said this in a statement on Monday on the occasion of World Population Day in Abuja.

Kanem, who urged each country to meet the desires of its population, said ensuring people met their full potential was imperative.

“People are the solution, not the problem. At UNFPA, we advocate for measuring and anticipating demographic changes. Each country should have the information it requires to meet the needs of diverse population groups and ensure that individuals can realize their full potentials,” she said.

The UNFPA Executive Director explained: “When people have the power to make informed choices about whether and when to have children.”

According to her, when they can exercise their rights and responsibilities, they can navigate risks and become the foundation of more inclusive, adaptable and sustainable societies.

Source: The Guardian

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