Key findings of the State of World Population 2011: People and possibilities in a world of 7 billion, UNFPA,
http://foweb.unfpa.org/SWP2011/reports/EN-SWOP2011-FINAL.pdf are as follows:
• Nations like Ethiopia and India have launched campaigns to end child marriages and prevent life-threatening adolescent pregnancies.
• According to projections by the Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, in 2025, India, with 1.46 billion people, will have overtaken China, with 1.39 billion, as the world’s most populous nation. China’s population will then, based on a medium variant, decline to about 1.3 billion by 2050. India will continue to grow to about 1.7 billion by 2060 before beginning to decline.
• In India, where the fertility rate, at 2.5 children per woman, is still well above the replacement level of 2.1, there are more than 600 million people who are 24 years old or younger.
• Worldwide, sterilizations account for 18.9 per cent of the modern methods of contraception used by women and 2.4 per cent by men. In India, male condoms, account for a little more than 5 per cent of total contraception. The pill is used by 3.1 per cent of women. Injectables are not provided by the Government.
• In India, the effects of a preference for male children worries demographers, the media, policymakers and many others because of what it has done to sex ratios and the message it sends about how little a society values girls. The issue was heightened by results of the 2011 national census, which showed that in the birth-to-6-year-old age group the number of girls had plunged to 914 for every 1,000 boys, widening the 2001 ratio of 927 girls per 1,000 boys. The new child sex ratio is the biggest gap since independence in 1947. Sex-selective abortions, though illegal, and the sometimes fatal neglect of girls after they are born, are widely assumed to be leading causes of this anomaly.
• The southern Indian state of Kerala is one such place that reached fertility and development levels comparable to those in richer countries through gender-sensitive policies that included long established and near-universal education for girls and easy access to health care.
• People under 25 make up 43 per cent of the world’s population.
• There are 893 million people over the age of 60 worldwide. By the middle of this century that number will rise to 2.4 billion. About one in two people lives in a city, and in only about 35 years, two out of three will. People under the age of 25 already make up 43 per cent of the world’s population, reaching as much as 60 per cent in some countries.
• The rapid growth of the world population is a recent phenomenon. About 2,000 years ago, the population of the world was about 300 million. It took more than 1,600 years for the world population to double to 600 million. The rapid growth of the world population started in 1950, with reductions in mortality in the less developed regions, resulting in an estimated population of 6.1 billion in the year 2000, nearly two-and-a-half times the population in 1950. With the declines in fertility in most of the world, the global growth rate of population has been decreasing since its peak of 2.0 per cent in 1965-1970.
• Average life expectancy globally, leapt from about 48 years in the early 1950s to about 68 in the first decade of the new century. Infant mortality plunged from about 133 deaths in 1,000 births in the 1950s to 46 per 1,000 in the period from 2005 to 2010. Immunization campaigns reduced the prevalence of childhood diseases worldwide.
• Fertility, the number of children a woman is expected to have in her reproductive years, dropped by more than half, from about 6.0 to 2.5, partly because of countries’ economic growth and development but also because of a complex mix of social and cultural forces and greater access by women to education, income-earning opportunities and sexual and reproductive health services, including modern methods of contraception.
• Asia will remain the most populous major area in the world during the 21st century but Africa will gain ground as its population more than triples, passing from 1 billion in 2011 to 3.6 billion in 2100.
• In 2011, 60 per cent of the world population lived in Asia and 15 per cent in Africa. Africa’s population has been growing 2.3 per cent per year, a rate more than double that of Asia's population (1 per cent per year). The population of Africa first surpassed a billion in 2009 and is expec ted to add another billion in just 35 years (by 2044), even as its fertility drops from 4.6 children per woman in 2005-2010 to 3.0 children per woman in 2040-2045.
• Asia's population, which is currently 4.2 billion, is expected to peak around the middle of the century (it is projected to reach 5.2 billion in 2052) and to start a slow decline thereafter.
• Although people 24 years old or younger make up almost half of the world’s 7 billion population (with 1.2 billion between the ages of 10 and 19), their percentage of the population in some major developing countries is already at its peak.