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8 nations to drive global population growth–UN

The Philippines is one of eight countries that are expected to drive more than half of the growth of the world’s population by 2050, according to the think tank of the United Nations.

In the latest World Population Prospects 2022, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (Undesa) said the world’s population could grow to around 8.5 billion in 2030 and 9.7 billion in 2050. It is projected to hit a peak of around 10.4 billion people during the 2080s and to remain at that level until 2100.

The population of the eight countries, including the Philippines and India, are expected to grow between 2 and 3 percent annually between the 2022 and 2050 period. India is projected to surpass China as the world’s most populous country next year.

“More than half of the projected increase in the global population up to 2050 will be concentrated in eight countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and the United Republic of Tanzania. Countries of sub-Saharan Africa are expected to contribute more than half of the increase anticipated through 2050,” Undesa said.

Based on the mid-year population projection released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), there were a total of 111.57 million Filipinos as of July 1. By the same time next year, the population will grow to 112.89 million.

In 2024, the PSA expects the country’s population to reach 114.16 million by July 1 and register a population of 115.378 million on the same date in 2025. No projections beyond 2025 are available.

The Commission on Population and Development (Popcom) said maintaining a 1 percent increase in the country’s population annually will allow the administration to attain its goal of a single-digit poverty incidence by 2028.

For Popcom, young Filipinos who comprise about 20 percent of the Philippine population and women will play a crucial part in the attainment of the country’s much-aspired demographic dividend in the near future, as they will belong to a vital segment of the local workforce and employment, as well as contribute to national economic gains.

“The role of young people and women in national progress cannot be overemphasized. They make up a large human resource, whose participation as effective workers will serve as drivers for the country’s further economic growth in the coming years, while we march toward the fulfillment of Ambisyon 2040 built on this administration’s eight-point socioeconomic agenda,” Undersecretary for Population and Development Juan Antonio Perez III.

“I anticipate the new administration to build on the current gains of our population programs and agenda, while fully harnessing the potential of our young people and women by heavily investing in their education and professional upskilling,” he added. The enactment and full implementation of laws and policies are also key to addressing development challenges and the empowerment of young people.

In the country, the Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development works with multiple stakeholders, most notably legislators from the Senate and House of Representatives, in championing advocacies and advancing laws relevant to population and human development.

Significantly, these include the issues of sexual and reproductive health and rights, prevention of adolescent pregnancies, and prevention of violence against women and girls.

Legislators, the committee said, have an important role in addressing demographic challenges and contributing to the empowerment of Filipinos, especially women, girls, and marginalized groups.

“Legislators have remarkably contributed to helping our country harness demographic dividend and attain our goals by advancing and legislating notable laws that have a positive impact on the empowerment of the Philippine population of 110-plus million people, with the hopes of tapping their potential to be instrumental towards the nation’s development,” Representative Bernadette Herrera of Bagong Henerasyon Party List said in her message of support during the 2022 World Population Day meeting.

“In particular, the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Bill, and to prepare a future with ‘No More Children Having Children,’ will be a high priority and commitment of myself and fellow legislators,” she added.

Global life expectancy at birth reached 72.8 years in 2019, an improvement of almost 9 years since 1990. Further reductions in mortality are projected to result in an average global longevity of around 77.2 years in 2050. However in 2021, Undesa said life expectancy for the least developed countries lagged 7 years behind the global average.

Impact of Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected all three components of population change. Global life expectancy at birth fell to 71 years in 2021.

“The relationship between population growth and sustainable development is complex and multidimensional” said Liu Zhenmin, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs. “Rapid population growth makes eradicating poverty, combating hunger and malnutrition, and increasing the coverage of health and education systems more difficult.”

In some countries, Undesa said successive waves of the pandemic may have produced short-term reductions in numbers of pregnancies and births, while for many other countries, there is little evidence of an impact on fertility levels or trends. The pandemic severely restricted all forms of human mobility, including international migration.

The share of the global population at ages 65 and above is projected to rise from 10 percent in 2022 to 16 percent in 2050. At that point, it is expected that the number of persons aged 65 years or over worldwide will be more than twice the number of children under age 5 and about the same as the number under age 12.

Undesa said countries with ageing populations should take steps to adapt public programs to the growing numbers of older persons, including by establishing universal health care and long-term care systems and by improving the sustainability of social security and pension systems.

“Further actions by governments aimed at reducing fertility would have little impact on the pace of population growth between now and mid-century, because of the youthful age structure of today’s global population. Nevertheless, the cumulative effect of lower fertility, if maintained over several decades, could be a more substantial deceleration of global population growth in the second half of the century,” added John Wilmoth, Director of the Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

Based on the latest PSA data, there were a total of 147,692 births in the first quarter while there a total of 97,042 Filipinos died during the period.

Going by the explanation of Perez and using PSA data, a total of 50,650 Filipinos have already been added to the country’s population in the first three months of the year.

In 2021, there were a total of 1.31 million Filipinos were born while 853,074 died during the period. This means a total of 456,527 Filipinos were added to the country’s population.

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