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SOURCE Population Reference Bureau
WASHINGTON, Sept. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Africa, by far the world's poorest region, will record the largest amount of population growth of any world region between now and 2050.
Africa's population is expected to more than double, rising from 1.1 billion today to at least 2.4 billion by 2050. "Nearly all of that growth will be in the 51 countries of sub-Saharan Africa, the region's poorest," says Wendy Baldwin, president and CEO of the Population Reference Bureau (PRB). "Rapid population growth makes it difficult for economies to create enough jobs to lift large numbers of people out of poverty."
PRB's 2013 World Population Data Sheet, interactive world map, and infographic will be released on Sept. 12, 2013, at 10 a.m. (EDT), at www.prb.org. A webinar will be held on Sept. 13, 2013, at 11 a.m. (EDT). Register at www.prb.org.
Today, women in sub-Saharan Africa average 5.2 children, a rate that rises as high as 7.6 in Niger. The 10 countries worldwide with the highest fertility are all in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition to high birth rates, the region's population is also quite young, with 43 percent of the population below age 15.
"Given its youthful population, future population growth in Africa will depend upon the degree to which the parents of tomorrow use family planning," says Carl Haub, PRB senior demographer and co-author of the data sheet. "The projections that we cite assume that family planning will become more widespread. If not, Africa's population will grow more rapidly, further constraining efforts to address poverty, create jobs, and protect the environment."
This year's Data Sheet provides detailed information on 20 population, health, and environment indicators for more than 200 countries, and has a special focus on wealth and income inequality. Developing countries tend to have wide income gaps between rich and poor that are associated with dramatic differences in fertility and health. For example, in Uganda, women from the poorest fifth of families have twice as many children as those from the wealthiest fifth. And children from the poorest families are much more likely to die before turning 5 than their counterparts in the wealthiest families.
PRB's 2013 World Population Data Sheet shows the stark contrasts between rich and poor countries, illustrated by comparing Niger and the Netherlands. Even though the two countries have almost the same population size today, Niger is projected to nearly quadruple its population from about 17 million today to 66 million in 2050. The Netherlands' population will likely grow very slowly from 17 million to 18 million over that same time.
At the root of this "demographic divide" are differences in the average number of births per woman and the share of the population in their childbearing years. Niger's total fertility rate of 7.6 lifetime births per woman is more than four times the Netherlands' rate of 1.7 per woman. One-half of Niger's population is younger than age 15, compared with 17 percent of the Netherlands' population.
Other Highlights from the 2013 World Population Data Sheet
- Worldwide, the total fertility rate (TFR, or average number of children per woman) is 2.5, and 4.4 in the poorest countries. TFRs range from a low of 1.2 in Bosnia-Herzegovina to a high of 7.6 in Niger.
- With a current population of 4.3 billion, Asia will likely experience a much smaller proportional increase than Africa, but will still add almost 1 billion people by 2050-determined in large part by trends in China and India.
- Despite having one of the world's highest standards of living, the gap in the United States between the income share of the wealthiest and the poorest households is one of the widest among industrialized countries. And the gap has been expanding since 2007. In 2011, the poorest fifth of U.S. households received only 3 percent of total national household income while the richest fifth received 51 percent.
The Population Reference Bureau informs people around the world about population, health, and the environment, and empowers them to use that information to advance the well-being of current and future generations.
Contact: Ellen Carnevale, 203-939-5407; firstname.lastname@example.org
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