“There is simply nothing so important to a people and its government as how many of them (people) there are, whether the number is growing or declining, how they are distributed between ages, sexes and different social classes and racial/ethnic groups, and which way these numbers are moving.” (Daniel Moynihan, U.S. Senator)
Population counts. Demographic trends have important implications for policymakers and corporations. They affect everything from education to the environment to the economy.
Youth & Labor Force
One of the most significant challenges worldwide in the 21st Century, given projected population growth, is to generate enough jobs. The impact is perceived to be most severe for those who are 16-25. The International Labor Organization reports that nearly 1/3 of the billion unemployed adults are below the age of 25.
In mid-2015, the world population reached 7.3 billion. Since 2003, the world has added approximately one billion people. 60% of the global population resides in Asia, 16% in Africa, 10% in Europe, 9% in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the remaining 5% are in North America. More than half of global population growth between 2015 and 2050 is expected to occur in Africa, with Asia expected to be the second largest contributor to future global population growth. Europe, on the other hand, is expected to have a significant decrease in population growth during this time.
Fertility in all European countries is below the level required for a full replacement of the population in the long run. In the majority of cases, fertility has been below replacement level for several decades. Globally, the number of persons aged 80 or over is projected to triple by 2050, from 137 million in 2017 to 425 million by 2050. In the decades ahead, many countries are expected to face fiscal and political pressure related to public systems of healthcare, pensions and social protection for a growing older population.
While declining fertility and increasing longevity are key drivers of the global aging population, international migration has also contributed to changing population age structures in some countries and regions. Countries with higher levels of immigrants can slow the aging process, at least temporarily since migrants tend to be in the young, working ages.
If all of the world’s international migrants (people living in a country that is different than where they were born) lived in a single country, it would be the world’s fifth largest country, with approximately 244 million people. In 2015, over 46.6 million people living in the United States were born in other countries. However, compared with other countries receiving immigrants, the share of the U.S. population that is foreign-born (14%) is modest. (Pew Research Center, 2016)
Foreign-born individuals in the U.S. are just as likely as native-born Americans to be college educated with 1/3 of immigrants holding a bachelor’s degree or higher. Of those immigrants, 15% of them earned a doctorate or professional degree, outpacing native-born Americans. At the same time, 29% of immigrants over the age of 25 attained less than a high school level of education. (Fortune, 2017)
World Fertility Rates, as of 2018, range from 6.98 ‘births per woman’ in Niger with a number of other countries in Africa between 5 and 6.4, to 2.4 in India, 2.17 in Mexico, 2.08 in Brazil, and the U.S. at 2.06.
Countries below 2.0 include Ireland (1.96), France (1.92), UK (1.88), China (1.57), Spain (1.5), Russia, (1.47), Japan (1.42). Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore are among the lowest at 1.22, 1.22, and .84 respectively).
The total U.S. population in 2014 was 319 million people and projected to grow to 417 million in 2061. By 2044, more than half of all Americans in the United States will be members of a racial/ethnic minority (any group other than non-Hispanic White alone). (U.S. Census Bureau, 2015)