Prelims Level
Mains Level
Prelims Syllabus : Reports & Indices Mains Syllabus : GS-I- Population and associated issues

Why in News?

  • World Population Prospects 2019 was released few weeks back by the Population Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

Global Population Trend:

  • While the report projects the world population to some 9.7 billion by 2050, it says the overall growth rate will continue to fall.
  • The next 30 years will see the population add 2 billion people to today’s 7.7 billion, and reach 11 billion by the end of the century.
  • The countries expected to show the biggest increase are India, Nigeria and Pakistan. However, fertility rates are falling worldwide.
  • 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.
  • To avoid decline in a national population, a fertility level of 2.1 births per woman is necessary (in the absence of immigration).
  • In 2018, for the first time, persons aged 65 years or over worldwide outnumbered children under age five.
  • Projections indicate that by 2050, there will be more than twice as many persons above 65 as children under five.
  • By 2050, the number of persons aged 65 or over will also surpass the number of adolescents and youth aged 15-24.
  • In India, children under age five still outnumber the over-65 population, who are projected to overtake the under-five group between 2025 and 2030.
  • By 2050, persons over age 65 will make up about one-seventh of India’s population.
  • By then, the 15-24 group in India (13.8%), too, will outnumber the over-65 group (13.6%).
  • Children under age five are projected to constitute less than 6% of India’s population in 2050, as compared to 7% globally.

Life Expectancy:

  • Although overall life expectancy will increase (from 64.2 years in 1990 to 77.1 years in 2050), life expectancy in poorer countries is projected to continue to lag behind.
  • Today, the average lifespan of a baby born in one of the least developed countries will be some 7 years shorter than one born in a developed country, the report said.
  • The main reasons cited in the report are high child and maternal mortality rates, conflict and insecurity, and the continuing impact of the HIV epidemic.

Dwindling Populations:

  • The populations of 55 countries are projected to decrease by 1% or more between 2019 and 2050 because of sustained low levels of fertility, and, in some places, high rates of emigration.
  • The largest relative reductions in population size over that period, with losses of around 20% or more, are expected in Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, and the Wallis and Futuna Islands.
  • Migration flows have become a major reason for population change in certain regions, the report said.
  • Bangladesh, Nepal and the Philippines are seeing the largest migratory outflows resulting from the demand for migrant workers.
  • Myanmar, Syria and Venezuela are the countries where the largest numbers are leaving because of insecurity or conflict
  • Males are projected to continue to outnumber females until the end of the century, but the gap will close.
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