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Ralf E. Ulrich (2007)

Perspectives of National Population Development in the 21st Century*

In: Zeitschrift für Bevölkerungswissenschaft, Vol. 32, 3-4/2007, p. 621-640, Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, ISSN: 0340-2398

During the 20th century the world population has grown to more than 3.6 time of its initial size. At the beginning of the 21st century the public in most OECD countries perceives population decline, ageing and HIV/AIDS as more relevant than population growth. Although world population will continue to grow to more than 9 billion people within the next five decades the demographic prospects for nation states differ substantially. This article separates countries into three groups according to their expected demographic development. For a first group of 30 developing countries with today 457 million inhabitants rapid population growth will remain the main characteristic of their demographic development. Their population will have doubled by 2050 and the group will have a total population of 1.2 billion. Moderate population growth will be the characteristic of a second group of 144 countries with a total of 5.3 billion inhabitants today. Some of these countries combine demographic dynamics with economic dynamics. For a third group of countries with 768 million inhabitants today population decline will be the main feature for the next five decades. The article argues that demographic divergence of states has a potential for increased conflict on one hand but demands more international cooperation on the other hand.

* Original title: Perspektiven nationaler Bevölkerungsentwicklung im 21. Jahrhundert (full text in German only)

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