NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Population Will Grow In U.S. And Less Developed Countries, U.N. Says

February 28, 2001

By 2050, the U.S. will be the only developed country among the world's 20 most populous nations, predicts a U.N. study conducted by an international team of demographers. They say the world is witnessing a huge population shift to the third world.

  • As recently as 1950, at least half of the 10 most populous countries were industrialized nations -- and in 2000 there were still three, including Japan and Russia.
  • World population -- which reached 6.1 billion in mid-2000 -- is expected to hit 9.3 billion by 2050.
  • Africa is expected to grow by 152 percent between 2000 and 2050, followed by 55 percent growth in Latin America and the Caribbean, and 48 percent growth in Asia.
  • Northern America's population will increase 39 percent -- primarily due to immigration and an increased fertility rate.

Europe will see a net population loss of 17 percent, according to the projections.

By 2050, the population of the less developed countries is expected to go from 4.9 billion to 8.2 billion -- while the more developed countries will hold at 1.2 billion.

Source: Barbara Crossette, "Against a Trend, U.S. Population Will Bloom, U.N. Says," New York Times, February 28, 2001.


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