The United Nations recently released its global population estimates, revealing an alarming population shift that will have serious worldwide consequences within the near future. While blaming the problem on lowered fertility and increased longevity, the report fails to make the connection with contraception, abortion and sterilization.
The report is a 2007 updated version of the 2002 "World Population Aging" report that was published during the Second World Assembly on Aging. Following the demographic trends from 1950 to 2005, the report notes that the population aging is "unprecedented, a process without parallel in the history of humanity." The report indicates that people above 60 years old are starting to outnumber children, those under age 15. By 2047 old people will outnumber children on a global scale, the report states, although developed countries already reached this mark in 1998.
The report projects that by 2050, those aged 60 and over will comprise one third of the population in developed regions. In the developing nations, however, they will account for only one fifth of the population, a ratio at which the wealthier countries have already arrived.
The population trend profoundly affects every area of human life-economic, political and social-and is "irreversible", the report claims. In addition, the issue has been intensifying for decades; older people comprised 8% of the population in 1950, and this number increased to 11% by 2007. The UN predicts that the number will rise to 22% by 2050.
By the year 2000 the number of old people had tripled in the world since 1950. Only six year later, they had increased by another 100 million. The rate of their increase is 2.6% per year versus the 1.1% increase of the rest of the population. In addition, even those over 60 years are aging, and the number of people aged 80+ is most rapidly increasing.
At present the median age worldwide is 28 years, a number that is expected to rise to 38 by 2050. The oldest country is Japan, with a median age of 43, while the youngest is Uganda, with a median age of 15.
These numbers will have a serious effect on the working population, which will be forced to bear an increasingly heavy burden of retirees. By 2050 the ratio of workers between 15 and 64 to older persons will have decreased from 12 to 1 in 1950 to a mere 4 to 1.
The report notes that the problem of population aging is a "pervasive," worldwide issue. This is due to the fact that people's fertility is reduced, as well as the fact that the aged are living longer. As the document states, "The resulting slowdown in the growth of the number of children coupled with the steady increase in the number of older persons" has deeply impacted the balance of society.
This "unprecedented change, which started in the developed world in the nineteenth century and is more recent in developing countries" is right now "transforming many societies." The report blames the skewed population ratios on the rapid switch from high to low fertility levels and increased life expectancy. Nevertheless, once again a major population report fails characteristically to mention any connection between these alarming population rates and the rapid spread of abortion, contraception and sterilization in the past century.
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