Today, there’s just over 7 billion people across the world. Now, throw 4 billion more people in the mix by 2100. According to a new prediction, there’s an 80% chance of that happening over the next 90 years.

Where is this population growth expected to happen? In areas that still have low population density such as Africa. Birth rates in sub-Saharan Africa have not been falling as fast as predicted. Sub-Saharan Africa are the countries south of Algeria, Libya and Egypt.

Demographers from the University of Washington, other universities along with the United Nations published the results in a paper in the journal Science.

Adrian Raftery, a University of Washington Professor of statistics and sociology talked about how their prediction differs from past ones.

“The consensus over the past 20 years or so was that world population, which is currently around 7 billion, would go up to 9 billion and level off or probably decline.”

“We found there’s a 70 percent probability the world population will not stabilize this century. Population, which has sort of fallen off the world’s agenda, remains a very important issue.”

population forecasts

The newest report uses stats from government data along with expert opinions to forecast mortality and fertility rates. Previous reports focused largely on expert opinions on these two rates.

A surging population would worsen global problems we experience today such as climate change, hunger, disease and poverty. Not to mention the increase in energy consumption and its effect on our limited fossil fuel resources.

Besides the potential population explosion in Africa, where else will the population grow? Asia makes up a sizable chunk of the population today. At 4.4 billion right now, Asia is expected to top out around 5 billion in 2050 before beginning to decline.

Population numbers in North America, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean are expected to remain below 1 billion.

Will we hit 11 billion people (or more) by 2100? Who knows, but the report highlights problems we face today. Poverty being the primary one.

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