World population may reach 12.3 billion in 2100

Guest post by Beth Mole

The number of people on the planet is likely to keep rising over the next century. The finding, published September 18 in Science, contradicts previous studies that suggested the world’s population would plateau by 2100.

Using data and projections from the United Nations, researchers at the UN, the University of Washington and elsewhere say there is an 80 percent chance that the world population, currently 7.2 billion, will reach 9.6 billion by 2050 and up to 12.3 billion in 2100.   

Much of the increase, the authors say, stems from high fertility rates in Africa. 

More Stories from Science News on Science & Society