Population boom higher in poor nations

Washington, August 22:

The gap in population growth between richer and poorer countries is increasing, as those living in less developed countries tend to have more children while birth rates in many developed nations continue to fall, the Population Reference Bureau in Washington said.

“The gap we’re having now in population growth is larger than it has ever been,” demographer Carl Haub told reporters yesterday as the organization released its annual report on the world population.

By 2050, the percentage of people living in less developed countries will increase to 86 per cent of world population from a current 82 per cent, the bureau projected.

Of the world’s 6.7 billion people, 5.5 billion now live in less developed areas and 1.2 billion live in more developed places.

Japan, Russia, Germany, Portugal and Spain will be among the countries whose populations will shrink by 2050, while the largest percentage increases in population will occur in African nations, including Uganda (263 per cent), Niger (261 per cent) and Burundi (220 per cent).

The largest percentage declines in growth will occur in Bulgaria (down 35 per cent), Swaziland (-33 per cent) and Georgia (-28 per cent).

By 2050, India is expected to overtake China as the world’s most populous nation, with 1.8 billion people to China’s 1.4 billion, according to the bureau.

In contrast to most other developed nations, the US will see continued population growth and is projected to grow 44 per cent by 2050 and remain ranked third in population with 438 million people.