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World’s population exceeds estimates

The African population could increase fourfold by 2100, making poverty and hunger issues more severe.

LOS ANGELES - Humanity is growing faster than we thought. In advance of World Population Day, United Nations demographers have once again revised official projections -- upward. This meticulous band of number crunchers doesn't mean to be alarmist, but its statistics can be startling: Nigeria, the West African nation slightly larger than Texas, is on track to surpass the United States as the world's third-most populous country by 2050. The size of its population may rival that of China by the end of the century, unless something dramatic happens. The number of people living on the African continent is set to nearly quadruple by the end of the century, rather than tripling, as previously projected. The world's population is on track to reach 9.6 billion by midcentury and nearly 11 billion by 2100, which is 700 million more than was projected two years ago. The reason for the higher figures? A slew of recent household surveys in African countries revealed the average number of children per woman was higher than previously estimated, said Francois Pelletier, chief of the U.N.'s population estimates and projections section. In some countries, "a high level of fertility appears to have risen even higher," Pelletier said. In others, "we realized the earlier estimates were too low." Read article here: Portland Press Herald  

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