June 22 (UPI) -- A United Nations report says the world population will increase to 9.8 billion people by 2050 despite a nearly global decrease in fertility rates.
The global population increased from 7.4 billion in 2015 to where it stands currently at 7.6 billion, the United Nations said on Wednesday.
"With roughly 83 million people being added to the world's population every year, the upward trend in population size is expected to continue, even assuming that fertility levels will continue to decline," the World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision report by the U.N.'s Department of Economic and Social Affairs said.
At the current rate, the world population will increase to 8.6 billion by 2030, 9.8 billion by 2050 and 11.2 billion by 2100.
India, with a current population of 1.3 billion will surpass China, with a current population of 1.4 billion, as the most populous country in the world by 2024. By 2050, Nigeria, currently ranked seventh, will surpass the United States as the third most-populous country.
Part of the growth is expected to come from the 47 least developed countries, where the fertility rate is about 4.3 births per woman. The population of those countries is expected to increase from the current 1 billion to 1.9 billion by 2050.
The population of 26 African countries will likely at least double by 2050, the report indicates.
Nearly all regions of the world have experienced decreased fertility rates, including in Africa where fertility rates decreased from 5.1 births per woman in 2000-05 to 4.7 births in 2010-15. Europe did not follow the same trend; the birth rate there increased from 1.4 births per woman up to 1.6 births during the same periods.
"Even assuming a continued decline in fertility, given this relatively high starting point, we should anticipate a continued rapid growth of the African population, which will roughly double in size between now and 2050," John Wilmoth, director of the U.N.'s Population Division said during a presentation. "Fertility levels in the other world regions are in an intermediate range between those of Africa and Europe."
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