12.3 BILLION PEOPLE

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As many as 12.3 billion people may be living on earth by the year 2100, according to a United Nations released population projections based on a Bayesian probabilistic methodology.

Analysis of these data reveals that, contrary to previous literature, world population is unlikely to stop growing this century. There is an 80% probability that world population, now 7.2 billion, will increase to between 9.6 and 12.3 billion in 2100.

This uncertainty is much smaller than the range from the traditional UN high and low variants. Much of the increase is expected to happen in Africa, in part due to higher fertility and a recent slowdown in the pace of fertility decline. Also, the ratio of working age people to older people is likely to decline substantially in all countries, even those that currently have young populations.

Photo:Robin Hammond, Panos

A World With 11 Billion People? New Population Projections Shatter Earlier Estimates http://on.natgeo.com/1tpLp0a via @NatGeo