Growth Rate Slowing; Global
Population in 2002 Tops 6.2 Billion
March 23, 2004
Tuesday - 1:15 am
The world's population increased by 1.2 percent in 2002 to total
more than 6.2 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau said Monday in
a report on global population trends. The rate of increase translated
into a net addition of about 200,000 people per day and 74 million
per year, roughly equivalent to the population of Egypt in 2002.
According to the report, Global
Population Profile: 2002, the pace of global population growth
peaked just over a decade ago. The increase of 74 million in
2002 is substantially below the annual high of 87 million people
added in 1989-90. The rate of growth is well below the high of
about 2.2 percent a year experienced 40 years ago.
Census Bureau projections show
the slowdown continuing into the foreseeable future.
Some report highlights:
- The slowdown in global population
growth is linked primarily to declines in fertility. In 1990,
the world's women, on average, were giving birth to 3.3 children
over their lifetimes. By 2002, the average had dropped to 2.6
children -- slightly above the level needed to assure replacement
of the population. Census Bureau projections show the level of
fertility for the world as a whole descending below replacement
level before 2050.
- While fertility was the dominant
factor underlying national, regional and global population growth
during the past 50 years, the large proportion of women in their
reproductive years in current national and global populations
will account for much of the population change expected to occur
over the next 50 years.
- "Population aging,"
the rise in all regions in the size of older age groups relative
to younger ones, will be an increasingly significant trend in
coming decades. The world's older population is expected to grow
considerably. In 2050, there will be more than three times as
many people age 65 and older as there are today. In contrast,
the number of children is expected to remain relatively stable
over the next five decades.
- Census Bureau projections
indicate a number of African countries will experience levels
of mortality during this decade that will lower the average life
expectancy at birth to around 30 years by 2010, a level not seen
since the beginning of the 20th century. Much of this decline
in life expectancy is likely to result from AIDS mortality.
The report summarizes the key
trends in international demography at the dawn of the 21st century.
It is accompanied by a special report on HIV/AIDS, The AIDS Pandemic
in the 21st Century, and a four-page summary, Global Population
at a Glance: 2002 and Beyond.
All three were released by
the Census Bureau's International Programs Center, which collects
and analyzes population and related statistical information from
Global Population Profile: 2002
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