The United Nations has reported that by 2050, the world’s population will have surpassed 9.7 billion people.
High fertility rates in a number of countries have been named as the cause of the extra 2.4 billion people in just 35 years.
The countries include India, Nigeria, Pakistan, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, USA, Indonesia and Uganda.
India is expected to surpass China as the world’s largest population with the next decade, while Nigeria is expected to have more people than the United States by 2050.
The UN predicts that the figure will rise to 11.2 billion people by 2100.
John Wilmoth, director of the population division in the UN’s department of economic and social affairs, said that high fertility in some of world’s poorest countries could bring problems.
“The concentration of population growth in the poorest countries presents its own set of challenges, making it more difficult to eradicate poverty and inequality, to combat hunger and malnutrition, and to expand educational enrolment and health systems, all of which are crucial to the success of the new sustainable development agenda.”
Wu Hongbo, UN under-secretary-general for economic and social affairs, explained the importance of the report.
She said: “Understanding the demographic changes that are likely to unfold over the coming years, as well as the challenges and opportunities that they present for achieving sustainable development, is key to the design and implementation of the new development agenda.”