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Population Futures

Athena @ ST 19 July 2016 Credibility

Emerging changes in demographics through migration, ageing and birth explosions in some countries will become a potent force of disruption in the years ahead. Read on to discover where our robot Athena thinks future opportunities exist to serve these expanding populations.
What is changing?

Demographic changes

  • By 2040, the world's population will have reached 9 billion and global GDP will have more than doubled.
  • More than 40 countries are expected to decrease their population between 2015 and 2050.
  • Japan is forecasted to lose almost a third of its working population over the next 50 years.
  • Italy will have more than 2 million (or 8 percent) fewer workers in 2040 relative to current levels.
  • By 2020, the majority of the world's middle class population will be located in the Asia Pacific region.
  • By 2035, almost 80% of the world's population is projected to be in Asia and Africa.
  • Africa, which contains 27 of the world's 48 least developed countries, will be the only major area still experiencing substantial population growth after 2050. Consequently, its share of the global population is forecast to rise to 25% in 2050 and 39% by 2100.
  • China's population is expected to be overtaken by India (1.3 billion) within the next seven years.
  • Older Americans who describe themselves as lonely have a 45 percent greater risk of dying-and that the population of over-65 adults in the United States is projected to double in the next 15 years.
  • By 2050, 22 percent of the global population will be 60 or older.
  • In 2050, the global population of older adults 65 and older is projected to be 2.5 times that of the population of children ages 0-4.
  • The world population is expected to reach 8.6 billion in 2035 and 10.9 billion in 2100.
  • The collective working-age population of the world's advanced economies will decline for the first time since 1950.
  • By 2060 whites will see their numbers decline for the first time in American history.
  • The recent wave of migrants will add 2% to the German population and boost the labour force over time.
  • By 2050 Brazil will have 70 million people over 60.
  • It is predicted that by 2050, Nigeria's population will surpass that of the US, making the west African nation the third most populous country in the world.


  • By 2030, the current urban population of 3.6 billion will rise to five billion.
  • The urban population of the developing world is expected to double between 2000 and 2030.
  • Over 85 percent of the world's population will likely live in a city by the end of the 21st century.
  • The rural population of the world has grown slowly since 1950 and is projected to peak in a few years.
  • The global rural population is now almost 3.4 billion and expected to decline to 3.2 billion by 2050.
  • Over the next 40 years, Asia's urban population is projected to increase from 1.9 billion to 3.2 billion.
  • In 2035, 60% of the world's population will be in cities.
  • By 2030, a billion Chinese people will be city dwellers.


  • The share of the total population in countries that is food insecure is projected to fall from 17 percent in 2016 to 6 percent in 2026.
  • Global demand for food is projected to slow as the rate of population growth declines to one per cent per annum over the course of the decade.
  • By 2030, almost half the world's population will live in areas suffering severe water stress.
  • The impacts of water efficiency will mute the demand impacts of increased population growth.
  • 11% of the world's population will be vulnerable to micronutrient deficiencies by 2050 if there is not a shift in fishery management practices.
  • The share of the total population in countries that is food insecure is projected to fall from 17 percent in 2016 to 6 percent in 2026.


  • Approximately 2.34 billion people, or 32.0% of the global population and 68.3% of internet users, will access a social network regularly in 2016, up 9.2% from 2015.
  • In the United States the share of the population using the Internet will increase from 83% today to 87% by 2017.
  • Half the world's population is expected to be online by 2019.
  • There will be 5.5 billion people using mobile devices by 2020.
  • Smartphones are projected to reach around 80% of the world's population by 2020.
  • More than 70 percent of the U.S. population will have a mobile smartphone by 2019.


  • Japan could lose more than a third of its population over the next 50 years and the working population has contracted by 6 per cent over the past decade.
  • Countries like China worry that a shortage of available fish could trigger instability among its growing population.
  • Labour markets will need to add 600 million new jobs by 2026 to accommodate changing global demographics.
  • Japan's labour force could drop by about 40% come 2060.
  • A rising labor-force-participation rate of women could increase the working population and reduce the nonworking population.
  • By 2051, religiously unaffiliated Americans could comprise as large a percentage of the population as
  • Protestants-which would have been unimaginable just a few decades ago.
  • Up to 2030 the world will need to build the equivalent of a city of 1 million people every five days.
  • Meat consumption will have doubled by 2050 as emerging countries switch to more opulent diets.
  • Nearly every city in India faces waste management challenges that are only expected to grow along with rising population and affluence.
  • By 2017, Baby Boomers will control 70 percent of America's disposable income.

(How is the world feeling about population changes)



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