2009 World Population Data SheetGlobal population numbers are on track to reach 7 billion in 2011, just 12 years after reaching 6 billion in 1999. Virtually all of the growth is in developing countries. And the growth of the world’s youth population (ages 15 to 24) is shifting into the poorest of those countries.
The Population Reference Bureau’s 2009 World Population Data Sheet and its summary report, to be released on Aug. 12, offer detailed information about country, regional, and global population patterns.
“The great bulk of today’s 1.2 billion youth–nearly 90 percent–are in developing countries,” said Carl Haub, PRB senior demographer and co-author of the data sheet. Eight in 10 of those youth live in Africa and Asia. “During the next few decades, these young people will most likely continue the current trend of moving from rural areas to cities in search of education and training opportunities, gainful employment, and adequate health care.” One of the major social questions of the next few decades is whether their expectations will be met.
[Editors Note: Various materials related to this report, including a PDF of the report, can be downloaded here.]