97% of population growth to be in developing world

24 June 2015 Consultancy.uk 4 min. read
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Developing regions will see 97% of the world’s population growth of 1.2 billion people between 2013 and 2030, research by Roland Berger finds. In the same period the median age will increase to 33.2 years. Net migration too is expected to increase, with 44 million people on the move between 2013 and 2030, while cities will become ever more important as urban areas claim 60% of the world’s population.

Roland Berger’s ‘Trend Compendium 2030: Demographic dynamics’, maps out global changes in human demographics between 2013 and 2030. The report maps the trajectory of the planet in ‘normal’ circumstance, thus, without allowing for natural disasters, increased mortality from antibiotic resistance. To generate the results, the consulting firm screened all relevant trend, scenario and future studies worldwide, after which they verified, analysed and consolidated the results, using them to define the megatrends.

World population changes

Growing population
The world’s population is projected to grow to 8.4 billion by 2030, up 18% on the 7.2 billion today. Roland Berger finds however that the rate of growth for the world population is expected to decrease; with an annualised rate of 1.3% or 79 million people between 1993 and 2013, dropping to an annualised rate of 0.96% averaged between 2013 and 2030.

The highest population growth rates will continue to be in developing regions, accounting for 97% of the increase to 2030. The worlds developing regions will see 1.2 billion people added, a 20.7% increase; while the population of developed countries will increase a mere 3.3% adding 41 million to the current 1.3 billion people. The regions to see the largest increase in population are India (adding 224.3 million) Nigeria (99.5 million) and China (67.7 million). In contrast, the UK will grow by 5.5 million while Germany will see a decrease of -3.2 million people.

Youngest and oldest population by median age

The global median age is expected to increase from 29.2 years in 2013 to 33.2 years in 2030. There is a difference of more than ten years between the median age in developing and developed regions. The median age in developed regions will increase from 40.5 year to 43.7 years and in developing regions from 27.2 years to 31.2 years. The biggest reason for the changes is the projected increase in life expectancy combined with lower fertility rates.

Global working age
The increase in the median age will affect the number of working age people. The projection shows that in developed countries the working age population will drop from 48% of the total population in 2013 to 44% in 2030. The biggest challenge in developed countries will be to cope with the increased share of population aged 60+, up from 23% in 2013 to 29% in 2030. While developed regions will need to consider how best to enjoy the golden years, developing regions will see a large absolute increase of young people looking to be educated and make their way in the world.

Net immigration between 2013 and 2030

Migration and urbanisation
The report finds that migration will increase over the coming years, with especially Europe and the US expected to see an influx of migrants. Currently, 3% of the world's population live as migrants in foreign countries, of which about 45% reside in either the EU or the US. Between 2013 and 2030 there will be worldwide net migration of 44 million people. The US will see the biggest increase (+22), followed by Europe (+18 million) and Oceania (+3 million), while Asia will see a decrease of -24 million, Latin America and the Caribbean -10 million and Africa -9 million.

People living in urban and rural areas

It is not merely that people will migrate to other regions, within regions migration from rural areas to cities is also expected to increase rapidly over the coming 20 years. By 2030, 60% of the world’s population will be living in urban areas, compared to today’s 53%. In number terms, this means that 1.2 billion people will be leaving the fields to take part in city life. Eight out of ten (82%) people in developed countries and almost 56% of the population in developing countries will live in urban areas.

The consultancy notes that while the changes in world demographics will provide huge opportunities for business and people, large challenges too are expected to arise as billions of people come into existence and join urban ways of life.