The world population is projected to increase by more than one billion people within the next 15 years, reaching 8.5 billion in 2030, and to increase further to 9.7 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion by 2100. As with any type of projection, there is a degree of uncertainty surrounding these latest population projections. The results presented above are based on the medium projection variant, which assumes a decline of fertility for countries where large families are still prevalent, as well as a slight increase of fertility in several countries with fewer than two children per woman on average. Survival prospects are also projected to improve in all countries.
More than half of global population growth between now and 2050 is expected to occur in Africa. Africa has the highest rate of population growth among major areas, growing at a pace of 2.55 percent annually in 2010-2015. A rapid population increase in Africa is anticipated even if there is a substantial reduction of fertility levels in the near future. Regardless of the uncertainty surrounding future trends in fertility in Africa, the large number of young people currently on the continent will reach adulthood in the coming years and have children of their own, ensuring that the region will play a central role in shaping the size and distribution of the world’s population over the coming decades.
Asia is projected to be the second largest contributor to future global population growth, adding 0.9 billion people between 2015 and 2050.