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World Population Day Reflects on Global Shifts and Nigeria’s Astonishing Growth

July 14, 2023

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On July 11th, the world observed World Population Day, providing an opportunity to recognize the incredible transformations taking place in our global community and the dreams and aspirations of the 8 billion individuals who call this planet home. UN Secretary-General António Guterres highlighted this occasion as an opportunity to reflect on the rapid changes unfolding around us.

Over the past year, our global population crossed the historic milestone of 8 billion people, with India surpassing China as the world’s most populous country. Amidst these milestones, an important topic of discussion arises—the “Great People Shortage,” as Insider writers have aptly labeled it. By 2100, projections indicate that countries such as China, Japan, Germany, and even the United States might face population decline, posing potential economic challenges.

While some nations face the prospect of an aging and dwindling population, other regions are set to lead population growth in the coming decades. Among them, Nigeria stands out as a remarkable example.

Back in 1982, Nigeria had a population of less than 80 million and did not rank among the world’s ten most populous countries. However, within 41 years, Nigeria’s population has nearly tripled, reaching 225 million and securing the sixth spot on the list. And this growth shows no signs of slowing down.

According to the latest UN projections, Nigeria is expected to nearly double its population by 2050, reaching an estimated 377 million. As a result, the country will surpass Pakistan and Indonesia, vying with the United States for the third spot on the list of the world’s most populous countries. These statistics are remarkable for a nation roughly the size of Texas.

Nigeria’s phenomenal growth also mirrors the larger African continent’s expansion. According to UN estimates, five out of the eight countries projected to contribute to half of the world’s population growth over the next 27 years are in Africa. Tighisti Amare, Deputy Director of the Africa Programme at Chatham House, highlighted Africa’s status as the fastest-growing and youngest continent, with 70% of its population under the age of 30.

Amare emphasizes the positive impact of improved healthcare access and decreasing child mortality rates. Furthermore, the continent’s youthful population avoids the burden of a significant elderly demographic reliant on taxes and pensions, which can strain economies. Additionally, having a young population increases the potential for countries like Nigeria to produce more tech industry workers, fostering domestic solutions to issues such as climate change.

However, rapid population growth also presents developmental challenges. Michael Herrmann, an economic adviser with the United Nations Population Fund, warns that without proper planning, providing education, healthcare, and employment for such a rapidly growing population can be challenging.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Countries like Nigeria face the task of meeting the diverse needs of their people while striving for social progress and environmental sustainability. Balancing these objectives becomes more complex with a growing population, placing pressure on resources and infrastructure.

As we observe World Population Day, it is essential to reflect on the monumental shifts occurring globally and how they will reshape our world in the decades to come. Nigeria’s astonishing growth serves as a reminder of the critical role population dynamics play in shaping the future and the importance of thoughtful planning and sustainable development to harness its potential.

 

Source: Business Insider

 

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