According to Massimo Livi Bacci (2001), world population is defined as the total number of humans living in all continents of the planet Earth. From the time immemorial, human population has been on the steady rise due to high birth rates coupled with technological advancements in the area of healthcare provision to the world populations across the world. Based on the figures of the 2011 United Nations, the world population as at the October 31st, 2011 was estimated at 7 billion, but slightly lower according to the United States Census Bureau which estimates the figure at 6.982 billion. The present population is twice than of 1968 when the world population was at 3.5 billion. As the living conditions and healthcare services improve in all continents of the world, the human population will continue to rise sharply in the next hundred years from now though several other social and environmental problems will be experienced by the global inhabitants to a greater magnitude more than ever before in the history of mankind, as observed by Massimo in his book, A Concise History of World Population.
According to the United Nations’ projection, the world population is expected to rise by a margin of 80 and 100 million people annually by the year 2050 and 2100 respectively. It is therefore apparent that the world population will most likely hit 15 billion by the year 2100 and beyond if the pattern continues. The population explosion will be result by improved healthcare facilities, advanced healthcare and immunization programs, enhance neonatal and antenatal care, and accessibility of health services to all segments of the human population. All the healthcare programs, initiatives and campaigns intended to improve human health are rolling in all countries (both poor and rich) towards a better public health in line with the universal health policies of the World Health Organization.
Nevertheless, the rise in human populations will not be authentic in all countries of the world, even though it is a common trend in the present world. Considering that the population of a country is a subject to death and birth rates, higher birth rates favour a dramatic shoot in human population while death rates reduce the number of individuals in any population. It is most important to note that when birth exceed death rates due to improved healthcare services, increased efficiency and devolution of the major healthcare systems, food security, improved standards of living and increased levels of literacy, the human populations increase tremendously. On the other hand, if loss of lives takes pre-eminence owing to prevalence of diseases, hunger and natural calamities like earthquakes and tsunamis, a reduction in the human population is imminent.
When birth rates and antagonist death rates are at the play in human populations, some countries will experience a downward trend while other an upward depending on the circumstances and realities on the ground. The world’s population growth is expected to decline in most countries, but it is expected to be high in the developing countries. For most of developed countries, they have reached the low growth stage in the demographic transition model, where both death rate and birth rate are low and stable. Due to this, the natural increase rates in developed countries are slow and stable. However, developing countries are still in the transitional stages to low the growth stage.
The traditional stages include high fluctuating stage, expanding stage and late expanding stage, where the natural increase rates are fast due to relatively high birth rate and declining death rate. In other words, life expectancies are getting higher when the fertility rates remain high in developing countries. For example, an average Ugandan woman has seven children. An extraordinarily high fertility rate is largely unchanged for more than thirty years. Half of the population is under the age 15 years old, and will soon move into the childbearing age, when the life expectancy is increasing. Also, almost no women have access to the contraception (Rice, 2006). These factors will lead to a population explosion in the third world countries (mostly African and Asian countries) for a considerable period of time.
These will force the world’s population to growth. In addition, these are not just happening in Uganda but across most of sub-Saharan Africa, where the population is expending so quickly due to availability of the healthcare services and sufficient food to feed their soaring populations. Especially, by 2050, the population of Burkina Faso, Afghanistan, Somalia, Niger, Uganda and Timor-Leste are supposed to increase by 150 per cent (“Commission on Population”, 2009). It is also projected that human population in the Asian countries particularly China, Singapore, Bangladesh, India and Indonesia will continue to increase sharply, regardless of the existing population measures put in place by their respective governments. In a sharp contrast, population in the first world countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Australia and Germany is likely to be on the verge of declination, since there is an increased awareness of the use of contraceptives and the need to control human population in a bid to conserve the environment and natural resources.
In conclusion, the human populations will increase sharply in the next one hundred years due to technological innovations, efficient healthcare systems, high fertility rates in both men and women, and a serious reduction in human death rates. The human population increase will be more pronounced in developing countries in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa compared to developed nations such as the United States of America and the United Kingdom.