Poorer countries see higher population growth: study

August 20th, 2008 - 5:03 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Aug 20 (DPA) The gap in population growth between richer and poorer countries is increasing, as those living in less developed countries have more children and birth rates in many developed nations continue to fall, the Population Reference Bureau in Washington has said. “The gap we’re having now in population growth is larger than it has ever been,” demographer Carl Haub told reporters Tuesday, as the organization released its annual look at the world population.

By 2050, the percentage of people living in less developed countries will increase to 86 percent of world population from a current 82 percent, the bureau projected. Of the world’s 6.7 billion people, 5.5 billion now live in less developed areas and 1.2 billion live in more developed places.

Japan, Russia, Germany, Portugal and Spain will be among the countries whose populations will shrink by 2050, while the largest percentage increases in population will occur in African nations, including Uganda (263 percent), Niger (261 percent) and Burundi (220 percent).

The largest percentage declines in growth will occur in Bulgaria (down 35 percent), Swaziland (-33 percent) and Georgia (-28 percent).

By 2050, India is expected to overtake China as the world’s most populous nation, with 1.8 billion people to China’s 1.4 billion, according to the bureau.

In contrast to most other developed nations, the US will see continued population growth and is projected to grow 44 percent by 2050 and remain ranked third in population with 438 million people.

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