Population and Fertility Projections

Future population growth is highly dependent on the path that future fertility will take and according to the World Population Prospects, 2015 Revision (United Nations), global fertility is projected to fall from 2.5 children per woman in 2010-2015 to 2.4 in 2025-2030 and 2.0 in 2095-2100.

Even assuming that fertility levels will continue to decline, the global population is still expected to reach 8.5 billion in 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion in 2100, according to the medium projection variant. In 2016, it is projected that 83 million people will be added to the world’s population. 

In the United States, fertility is projected to rise from 1.89 children per woman in 2010-2015 to 1.92 in 2045-2050. Below is a world map of Total fertility, 2050-2055.

Other key findings:

populationselectedagegroups medianage

  • Continued population growth until 2050 is almost inevitable, even if the decline of fertility accelerates. There is an 80 per cent probability that the population of world will be between 8.4 and 8.6 billion in 2030, between 9.4 and 10 billion in 2050 and between 10 and 12.5 billion in 2100.
  • Globally, the number of persons aged 60 and above is expected to more than double by 2050 and more than triple by 2100, increasing from 901 million in 2015 to 2.1 billion in 2050 and 3.2 billion in 2100. Sixty-six per cent of the increase between 2015 and 2050 will occur in Asia, 13 per cent in Africa, 11 per cent in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the remaining 10 per cent in other areas.
  • The number of persons aged 80 or over is projected to more than triple by 2050 and to increase more than seven-fold by 2100. Globally, the number of persons aged 80 or over is projected to increase from 125 million in 2015 to 434 million in 2050 and 944 million in 2100. In 2015, 28 per cent of all persons aged 80 and over lived in Europe, but that share is expected to decline to 16 per cent by 2050 and 9 per cent by 2100 as the populations of other major areas continue to increase in size and to grow older themselves.
  • Globally, the median age is projected to increase from 30 to 36 years between 2015 and 2050 and to 42 years in 2100. The median age is higher in countries or regions that have been experiencing low fertility for a long time. Europe today has the oldest population, with a median age of 42 years in 2015, which is expected to reach 46 years in 2050 and then 47 years in 2100. By comparison, the median age for the least developed countries as a whole is 20 years in 2015 and is projected to reach 26 years in 2050 and 36 years in 2100.
  • Data Source:
    United Nations. 2015.
    World Population Prospects: The 2015 Revision.
    Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division.





    U.S. Census Bureau. March 2015.
    Projections of the Size and Composition of the U.S. Population: 2014 to 2060.”

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    Posted by claudia on December 1, 2015 at 10:07 pm | comment count

    Life expectancy at birth in 2050

    The Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations provides population projections for the period 2015-2100. Projections are presented for five-year periods. Below are world maps of life expectancy at birth for females and males, 2050-2055.

    In the United States, life expectancy at birth for females is projected to rise 10 years from 80-85 years in 2015 to 90-95 years in 2050. For men, it will rise 10 years from 75-80 years to 80-85 years.

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    Data Source:
    United Nations. 2015.
    World Population Prospects: The 2015 Revision.”

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    Posted by claudia on at 12:33 am | comment count

    State of the Future Index (28 variables)

    Every year, The Millennium Project (MP) computes a “State of the Future Index” looking 10 years into the future, based on data from the previous 20 or more years. The index calculation is based on values for multiple, individually-forecast key variables (28 in 2015). The index is calculated globally, as well as for individual countries. The overall index is intended to show the direction of things to come.

    For our purposes the forecasts for the 28 individual variables are of most interest. MP breaks the variables into two groups: those showing improvement, and those showing decline. The values for the individual variables (previous actual, and forecast) are displayed within the shaded area of the charts.

    Areas showing improvement in 2015:

    Areas showing decline in 2015:

    In 2015, the calculated Index looks like this:

    Src: Gordon, Theodore J. 2015. “2015 State of the Future Index.” The Millennium Project.
    Charts for each indicator, and a brief indication of the source for the data are in this PDF.

    The Millennium Project is an independent non-profit global participatory futures research think tank of futurists, scholars, business planners, and policy makers who work for international organizations, governments, corporations, NGOs, and universities. Their annual report collects and assesses judgments from over 3,000 people selected by its 56 nodes around the world.

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