German population to shrink by 7m by 2050

9th August 2006, Comments 0 comments

9 August 2006, HANOVER - By the middle of this century, India will become the world's most populous nation, overtaking China, but Germany will have 7 million fewer residents, according to German demographers in a worldwide study using new fertility figures. At a briefing Tuesday in Hanover, they said the world population was currently growing by 80 million per year. The DSW world population foundation's 2006 data report said the current world population as of mid-year was just under 6.6 billion. The aid gr

9 August 2006

HANOVER - By the middle of this century, India will become the world's most populous nation, overtaking China, but Germany will have 7 million fewer residents, according to German demographers in a worldwide study using new fertility figures.

At a briefing Tuesday in Hanover, they said the world population was currently growing by 80 million per year. The DSW world population foundation's 2006 data report said the current world population as of mid-year was just under 6.6 billion.

The aid group's study highlights the contrasts: the fastest growth is being recorded in Africa and other parts of the developing world, whereas fewer and fewer children are visible in the European Union, which loses 900,000 people net every year.

Renate Baehr of DSW commented, "If that goes on, Africa cannot escape from the spiral of poverty." Population growth increased poverty. The trend would be to more civil wars and emigration.

"Africa's people will of necessity have to spread, mainly into the Mediterranean area," she said. The figures show that 98 per cent of the world's population growth is taking place in developing nations.

DSW's projection is that world population will surpass 7 billion in six years' time.

In absolute terms, the biggest increase up to 2050 will occur in Asia: the continent's population will rise from just under 4 billion currently to 5.3 billion, with much of the growth in India.

"In about 30 years' time, India will be the world's most populous single nation and overtake China demographically," said Herwig Birg, a demographer at the University of Bielefeld who worked on the study.

Currently India has a population of 1.1 billion and China 1.3 billion.

The study makes a telling comparison of Germany and Ethiopia, which both have about 82 million residents at present. By 2050, Germany is forecast to have about 7 million fewer, whereas Ethiopia's population will have doubled.

On average, a woman in Germany has just 1.3 children in a lifetime. An Ethiopian woman has 5.4 and even that is a modest birthrate compared to Congo or Chad where the average is 6.7.

Stressing how poverty traps high-growth countries, the study says well over half of humanity is living in developing nations with incomes well under 2 dollars a day. Bitterly poor nations must struggle to provide ever more with education, roads, energy and food.

"One country, Uganda, is likely to quadruple its population by 2050," said Baehr. In some of its rural districts, more than a third of the population would not even have access to clean water to drink.

Uganda is one of four nations where DSW has country offices with local staff. The others are Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania.

Too little is being done to restrain population growth in poor nations, with the UN Population Report last year noting that few contraceptives were available there. Aid programmes only provide a average of one condom per developing-nation man per year.
"That spells a condom crisis," observed Baehr, who adding that coordination of condom shipments was poor, with the products often distributed where they were less needed. Those blunders were also to blame for the spread of AIDS.

As of last year, an estimated 38.6 million people were living with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

"In southern African nearly 20 per cent of the adult population is affected," said Baehr.

Internet: www.dsw-hannover.de/english/

DPA

Subject: German news

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