With 267 people being born every minute and 108 dying, the world’s population will top 7 billion next year, according to Population Reference Bureau, a research group based in Washington.
The study of the research group found the following trend:
-Over 80 million will be added to developing countries each year;
-Over 20 million will be added to poorest developing countries each year;
-By 2050 the world’s population will be about 9 billion;
-The birth rate will continue to decline in developed countries;
-By 2050 Russia and Japan will be deleted from the list of 10 most populous countries and will be replaced by Congo and Ethiopia.
-The population of Africa is projected to at least double by mid-century to 2.1 billion, and Asia will add an additional 1.3 billion. Bangladesh will have a population of 200 million by 2020.
While the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand will continue to grow, population will shrink in most European countries, Russia, Japan and South Korea. According to another report, in the next 30 years the labour force in Germany will shrink from 41 million to 21 million, and from 23 million to 11 million in Italy.
According to the European Commission, the percentage of Europeans older than 65 will nearly double by 2050. In the 1950s there were seven workers for every retiree in advanced economies, and by 2050 the ratio in the European Union will drop to 1.3 to 1.
Figures as reported in the media show that gross public social expenditure in the European Union has increased from 16% in 1980 to 21% in 2005, compared with 15.9% in the US.
In France, the figure is 31%, with state pensions making up more than 44% of the total and health care making up 30% , the highest in Europe.
In Sweden and Switzerland, 7 of 10 people work past 50, in France, only half do. The legal retirement age in France is 60, while Germany recently raised it to 67 for those born after 1963 (below 50 years).
Eurostat, the statistical arm of the European Union, reported that deaths will outpace births in five years, a trend that has already occurred in Bulgaria, Latvia and Hungary.
World Population Day, observed on July 11, seeks to raise awareness of global population issues. The theme of this year’s World Population Day was “Everyone counts.”
To be counted is to become visible. Censuses and population data play a critical role in development and humanitarian response and recovery. Reliable data makes a difference, and the key is to collect, analyse and disseminate data in a way that drives good decision making. The numbers that emerge from data collection can illuminate important trends.
This is especially important for women and young people. Data that is sorted by gender and age can foster increased responsiveness by national decision-makers to the rights and needs of women and youth and help build a more equitable and prosperous society.
Good demographic data is critical for planning schools, health systems, and public transportation, for designing policies based on future population projections, for monitoring the effectiveness of service delivery, and much more.
With quality data governments can track the trend better and make greater progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals, and promoting and protecting the dignity and human rights of all the people. It is reported that Bangladesh’s next census will begin in March next year.
The population pressure in the developing countries will have adverse effect on:
-Prices of food;
-Availability of fresh water,
-Reduction of poverty;
-Availability of energy;
Hubert H Humphrey Fellow
ASU, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Phoenix
Ref: Population Reference Bureau and The Daily Star