Majority of World Population Growth To Occur in Developing Nations Despite HIV, High Infant Mortality, Report Says
The majority of world population growth by 2050 is expected to occur in developing nations despite higher HIV prevalence and infant mortality rates than those of developed nations, according to the annual Population Reference Bureau report released on Tuesday, the AP/Washington Times reports. The world's population is expected to rise 45% to nearly 9.3 billion by 2050, including a 4% increase in the population of developed countries to more than 1.2 billion and a 55% increase in developing nations' populations to more than eight billion, according to the report (Armas, AP/Washington Times, 8/18). The projections assume that HIV prevalence in Africa, which is already decreasing in 14 of 38 nations, will reach its peak in about 10 to 15 years, according to Carl Haub, senior PRB demographer. Low birth rates and an aging population in European nations account for much of the gap between developed and developing nations, according to the report. In addition, health care in developing countries is improving, they have more people of childbearing age and their birth rates remain higher than developed nations (Mollison, Cox News/Lexington Herald-Leader, 8/18). For example, in developed nations, where 58% of married women use contraception, women have an average of 1.3 children in their lifetime, compared with developing nations, where 51% of married women use contraception and women have an average of 3.1 children. However, the trends could depend on how successful health workers are at treating HIV/AIDS and reducing infant mortality rates, as well as how prevalent contraception and family planning techniques become in developing nations, according to the report (Mollison, Cox News/Albany Times Union, 8/18). The United States is expected to remain the third most populous nation in 2050, behind India, which is expected to rise to first, and China, which is expected to drop to second place, according to the report (Cox News/Lexington Herald-Leader, 8/18).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.