October 5, 2022

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A new report from the United Nations has revised expectations for when Earth’s population will peak, now predicting the high will come earlier than previously thought.

The World Population Prospects 2022 report found that the world’s population continued to expand, but at a slower rate than previously recorded.

In 2020, the global growth rate fell below one per cent for the first time since 1950.

The world’s population is forecast to peak by the end of this century. (Eddie Jim)

The latest projections suggest the world’s population – currently just under eight billion – would grow to 8.5 billion in 2030, and 9.7 billion in 2050.

The peak of 10.4 billion people is now expected to arrive in the 2080s and remain there until 2100.

In the shorter term, the planet’s human population is expected to reach eight billion on November 15 this year, just over 10 years after it hit seven billion in October 2011.

India will become the world’s most populous country next year. (AP)

India is set to surpass China as the world’s most populous country in 2023 – but sub-Saharan Africa will outstrip both by the 2060s, with a far younger population.

China is indeed expected to lose almost half its population by 2100 due to low fertility rates – and much of the developed world, including the US, the European Union, Russia and Japan, will also hit population decline shortly.

Globally, birth rates are expected to decline to replacement level on average.

Nonetheless, Australia is among those countries expected to continue recording population growth – along with the US, New Zealand, and Canada – as a popular new home for migrants.

Australian cities fall in the ranking of the world’s most liveable

An older world is also in view.

The UN found that humans aged 65 or older will make up 16 per cent of the population by 2050, as opposed to 10 per cent in 2022.

Global life expectancy at birth reached 72.8 years in 2019, an improvement of almost nine years since 1990.

That’s expected to reach 77.2 years in 2050, although in 2021, life expectancy for less developed countries were seven years below the global average.

Men also continue to record lower life expectancy, from seven years in Latin America to 2.9 years in Australia.

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