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U.N.: World population to be 9.6 billion by 2050; Africa leads growth

United Nations headquarters, New York City
United Nations headquarters, New York City
NEW YORK, June 14 (UPI) — The nations of Africa will lead the world in population growth by 2050, when an estimated 9.6 billion people will be on Earth, a United Nations report says.

Nigeria, already the most populated country on the African continent, is expected to pass that of the United States by 2050, a U.N. statement on the information contained in the report said Thursday.

India is expected to match China’s population at 1.45 billion around 2028 and then surpass it to become the world’s most populous country.

The U.N. report, “World Population Prospects: the 2012 Revision,” says the population in developed nations will remain largely unchanged or even decline.

However, the 49 least developed countries are forecast to double in size to about 1.8 billion by 2050.

The global population now is estimated at 7.2 billion.

The projected increases are based on adjustments to fertility rates. In some countries, the rates have actually risen in recent years; in others previous estimates were too low, said John Wilmoth, director of the population division in the U.N.’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

The report said the number of people in Europe is expected to decline by 14 percent.

People are projected to live longer. Overall, life expectancy is expected to be 76 years by 2050 and 82 years by 2100, the report says.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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