The current world population of 7.6 billion is expected to increase to 8.6 billion in 2030, a new United Nations report has said.

The report projects that the world population would reach 9.8 billion in 2050 and climb to 11.2 billion in 2100.

According to the report, with roughly 83 million people being added to the world’s population every year, the upward trend in population size was expected to continue even assuming that fertility levels would continue to decline.

The report, dubbed: “World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision,” published by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, provides a comprehensive review of global demographic trends and prospects for the future.

“The information on global population is essential to guide policies aimed at achieving the new Sustainable Development Goals,” the report, which was made available to the Ghana News Agency, said.

The 2017 Revision of World Population Prospects is the 25th round of official UN population estimates and projections that have been prepared by the Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

The new projections include some notable findings at the country level which shows that China, with 1.4 billion inhabitants, and India, with 1.3 billion inhabitants, remain the two most populous countries making up 19 and 18 per cent of the total global population.

The report said in roughly seven years, or around 2024, the population of India was expected to surpass that of China.

It mentioned that among the 10 largest countries worldwide, Nigeria is growing the most rapidly; currently the world’s seventh largest, is projected to surpass that of the United States and become the third largest country in the world shortly before 2050.

It said from 2017 to 2050 it was expected that half of the world’s population growth would be concentrated in just nine countries: India, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan, Ethiopia, the United Republic of Tanzania, the United States of America, Uganda and Indonesia (ordered by their expected contribution to total growth).

The report said the group of 47 least developed countries (LDCs) continued to have a relatively high level of fertility, which stood at 4.3 births per woman in 2010-2015.

It said as a result, the population of those countries had been growing rapidly, at around 2.4 per cent per year.

It said although the rate of increase was expected to slow significantly over the coming decades, the combined population of the LDCs, roughly one billion in 2017, is projected to increase by 33 per cent between 2017 and 2030, and to reach 1.9 billion persons in 2050.

It said similarly, Africa continued to experience high rates of population growth adding that between 2017 and 2050, the populations of 26 African countries were projected to expand to at least double their current size.

The report said the concentration of global population growth in the poorest countries presents a considerable challenge to governments in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which sought to end poverty and hunger, expand and update health and education systems, achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment, reduce inequality and ensure that no one was left behind.

It said in recent years, fertility had declined in nearly all regions of the world; even in Africa, where fertility levels were the highest of any region, total fertility had fallen from 5.1 births per woman in 2000-2005 to 4.7 in 2010-2015.

The report highlights that a reduction in the fertility level results not only in a slower pace of population growth but also in an older population.

It noted that compared to 2017, the number of persons aged 60 or above was expected to more than double by 2050 and to more than triple by 2100, rising from 962 million globally in 2017 to 2.1 billion in 2050, and 3.1 billion in 2100.

It said globally, the number of persons aged 80 or over was projected to triple by 2050, from 137 million in 2017 to 425 million in 2050.

“By 2100 it is expected to increase to 909 million, nearly seven times its value in 2017,” the report said.

GNA/Newsghana.com.gh