Today World Population Day.   This chart is from the the United Nations Population Fund, which shows the latest data on population growth around the world.

source: UNFPA

The chart displays three different estimates of global population by the end of the century.

The “medium” variant is demographers current best estimate, and assumes a decline in global fertility rates. Under this scenario, global population will grow to 10 billion by around 2050, but then level off to 11.5 billion by the end of the century. Under the “high” variant, global fertility rates do not decline as expected and population grows to 16.5 billion by the end of the century. However, if more people than expected in the developing world get access to safe and effective contraception, global population by the end of the century would only increase slightly, to 7.3 billion.

As you can see, these mega trend lines have everything to do with fertility rates, which in turn has everything to do with women’s empowerment and access to contraception.

 

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