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Françoise Pardos, Pardos Marketing


World population

The world of 2025 will be divided into four broad population groups, and population forecasts will start tapering-off by 2025.

In the old industrialized world, Europe, Russia, N. America, Japan, there were 1.5 billions in 2000, and the population will grow slowly to 1.6 billions in 2025, 0.3 %/year.

For the new giants, China, India, Brazil, 2.3 billions, in 2000, to grow 1% /year to 2.9 billions in 2025.

In the new emerging economies, Middle East, Asia/Pacific, Latin America, 1.3 billions in 2000, to grow 1% /year to 1.7 billions in 2025.

And for the laggard areas, most of Africa and a few others, the 2000 population total is to grow from 1 billion plus in 2000 to 1.4 billions, 1.4% /year.

The total world population of 6.1 billions in 2000 is to reach 7.6 billions in 2025, with average rate of growth of less 1%, markedly slowing down compared to 1980-2000, 1.5%/year.

A change of trends is also expected after 2025, probably a general tapering-off. Global total population would stop increasing by 2050 and would not ever exceed 9.5 billions in any foreseeable future.

The main aspects involved with the slow, but sure, trends in world population are:

Population aging
Declining fertility, not only in the richer countries
Continuing growth in developing areas
Town and country
Democracy gradually winning
Population moves and conflicts

There is the new major phenomenon of the aging of the population about everywhere.

Actually, aging is the surface of things, what is happening is a deeper trend, another demographic transition. The first transition in the 20th century was fewer deaths, the new transition, of the 21st century, is fewer births. Population had exploded, to the dismay of most analysts, because of great unbalance between more births and later deaths. Population will shrink, with fewer births, and more deaths that cannot be postponed for ever.

Many analysts worry about aging population, they should not. Age is a relative and artificial definition. Old age had been defined at sixty by the Latin lawyer Cicero, and we have stuck to that definition ever since. Those of us with some past vision may remember how the definition of old age has changed over their lifetime. The seventy year olds of today are more like the fifty plus of bygone days.

With rare exceptions, such as impoverished Sub-Saharan Africa, birth control and better opportunities for women have lowered birth rates from five or six children per woman in the 1950s to as few as one or two today. A fertility rate of 2.1 is seen as the population breakeven point. Many countries now are well below this point.

Some countries continue to grow, from their large number of young people. India is on a pace to catch up and pass China's 1.4 billion population well before 2050, for example.

Everywhere, it can be observed that the education level, particularly that of women, is essential to the lesser number of births, leading to a higher average income per capita.

The world rural population is expected to grow to the maximum during the period 2015–2020 and to decline after that period. Global rural population would reach 3.2–3.4 billion in 2030. Rural population in Asia and Africa is estimated to increase and achieve the maximum around 2025 and decline thereafter. For other regions, the rural population would continually decline in the forecast period.

Urban population in the world would continually grow and reach 4.7 to 5 billion in 2030. However the annual growth of urban population is expected to increase to the maximum, 7 million/year, during the period 2020–2025 and then decline in the following years.

The expansion of world population and urbanization will continually exert a stronger stress to environment quality and sustainable development in a near future. However we may expect this situation would start to change from mid-21st century after total population has achieved its maximum.

There have been more democratic regimes with elections in the last twenty years, and hopefully, there will be more, winning over most last strongholds of non democracies.

A major uncertainty is the growing population moves to other countries, emigration/immigration, with hardship on many and spot conflicts.

Other sociological trends, still in the rich developed areas, but to be gradually imitated everywhere, are greater individualization, growing importance of women in the work place, leading to “birth strike”. These trends already have an impact on marketing strategies for consumer products in the richer countries, like marketing and advertising to the singles, to the matures.


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