Demography refers to the change, growth, structure and size of the human population. When addressing key demographic features, factors to consider include birth rates, death rates, emigration, migration reasons and geographic mobility (United Nations, 1999).
Key Demographic Features of the Global Population in 2050
Today over 175 million people live outside countries of birth. This number is twice as big as 35 years ago (International Organization for Migration). I am certain these numbers will greatly increase by year 2050 with the world becoming a global village.
Human Reproductive Health
While the baby boom of 1958 to 1965 is unlikely to repeat, UN projections show between 2004 and 2015 most countries in the world will have a more than two percent population growth rate. This rate is maintained even with the impact of HIV/AIDS. This translates into a high population number in 2050.
Although the global population is still growing, fertility levels have fallen throughout the globe with the exception of Sub-Saharan Africa. The United Nations population division estimates the world population prospects: 2002 revision estimates a population growth rate in the years 2045-2050 to 1.85 children a woman from 2.1 children per woman previously, which means that the child birth rate is reducing.
Economic Growth and Security
Bad economic situations hinder population growth and vice versa. During the Great Depression population levels decreased; however, when the economy picked up, the population’s number grew. This shows that if suitable economic situations prevail, global population will be high in 2050.
Major Issues to arise due to this Population Future
The environmental condition has significantly changed lately. We can specify such environmental factors as desertification, which is happening due to settlement of people on forest lands; environmental pollution due to increased industrialization, marine pollution, water crisis like in Sudan and Venezuela, ozone depletion due to pollutants; and the greenhouse effect will be greatly increased.
Increased population will lead to such negative effects as economic decline, stagnation, global poverty and hunger, especially in less developed countries (Allyn and Bacon, 1999). Inadequate resources will be stretched in poor countries and issues like food productivity will decrease.
Cultures will conflict. Imposition of the western life style on third world countries will increase. This will mainly occur in the form of birth control measures as developed nations try to curb the rising population numbers.