Not that there will be much of a party on or around Oct. 31, the due date predicted by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Not if you’re born, statistically anyway, where expected: the poorest parts of India, or perhaps Africa, say in Yemen or Liberia.
That’s where you’ll find some of the world’s highest rates of population growth, there and in Gulf states such as Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Oman.
But in Qatar, with its population of some 1.8 million, even a growth rate of about 15 per cent doesn’t translate into that many people.
However, in Nigeria, where 159 million live, according to the 2010 UN World Population Prospects Report, the current growth rate is 2.5 per cent. At that rate, say experts, Nigeria, now the seventh most populated country on the planet, might rival China and India for their top spots by century’s end.
“It’s almost impossible to imagine how they can sustain that,” says John Bongaarts, vice-president of the non-profit Population Council NGO, on the phone from New York.
The UN projection shocked demographers in May when it predicted, because people are living longer and reproducing even faster than expected, we will hit as many as 9.3 billion by mid-century and more than 10 billion by 2100.
Compare that with the estimated global 1 billion around 1800, or 3 billion in 1960, or 6 billion in 1999 . . .
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