Laxenburg, Austria 9 October 1996 The world's population, which has quadrupled over the past 80 years, may never double again, according to new population forecasts by the Population, Development and Environment Project at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA).
According to the projections, there is a 66 percent chance that the world's population will not reach 11.5 billion double today's population within the next century, if ever. The projections are the first fully probabilistic ones ever released and reflect the impact of alternative assumptions for birth rates, migration and death rates. Based on expert opinions, the projections include confidence levels for global populations and go up to the year 2100. The projections and assumptions are clearly explained and substantively discussed in the Project's new, revised edition of "The Future Population of the World: What Can We Assume Today?" (ed. W. Lutz), just off press.
"The biggest factor affecting population growth is the continuing decline of fertility in most world regions," says Project Leader Wolfgang Lutz. Lutz says that as a whole, the world's population will probably increase from today's 5.8 billion to around 7.9 billion in 2020, 9.9 billion in 2050, and 10.4 billion by 2100, according to the Project's forecasts. However, four world regions Pacific OECD countries, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, and the European part of the Former Soviet Union are projected to experience population declines before 2050.
For example, over the course of the coming decades, population in the
European part of the Former Soviet Union could decrease, according to the
median projection, due to below-replacement fertility, relatively high mortality
(especially for males), and near-term, net out-migration. By 2020, the
population could fall from its current 238 million to 224 million. By 2050, the
population may even fall to 187
Contact: Elisabeth Krippl
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis