Global life expectancy has dropped from 72.8 years in 2019 to 71 years in 2021, interrupting a five-decade streak of growth. The information was released this Monday, through a report by the United Nations (UN) on population prospects in 2022, on the day that World Population Day is celebrated.
The reduction was caused by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the same report, the impact varied in different regions and countries. In Central and South Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean, for example, life expectancy dropped by almost 3 years between 2019 and 2021. But in countries like Bolivia, Botswana, Lebanon, Mexico, Oman and Russia, estimates have fallen. even longer (about 4 years) between the same period.
On the other hand, the population of Australia and New Zealand combined gained about 1.2 years, due to lower mortality risks during the pandemic. The pandemic “has also severely restricted” all forms of human mobility, particularly with regard to international migration. “The magnitude of the impact of the pandemic on migration trends is difficult to determine due to data limitations,” the report says.
This year, the world’s population will reach the 8 billion mark, a projection that is predicted to occur in November. The latest UN projections also suggest that the global population could grow to reach around 8.5 billion people in 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050 and 10.4 billion in 2100.
Population growth arises, in part, from declining levels of mortality, reflected in rising levels of life expectancy. According to the UN, globally, life expectancy reached 72.8 years in 2019. An increase of almost 9 years since 1990. Further reductions in mortality are predicted to result in a world average longevity of about 77.2 years in 2050 .
The world life expectancy of women exceeded that of men by 5.4 years, standing at 73.8 and 68.4, respectively. “A female survival advantage is seen across all regions and countries, ranging from 7 years in Latin America and the Caribbean to 2.9 years in Australia and New Zealand,” says the UN report.
Population growth will continue to be observed as long as fertility remains at high levels. When fertility starts to fall, the annual population growth rate will also fall.
In 2021, the average fertility of the world population was 2.3 births per woman over a lifetime. But global fertility is projected to decline to 2.1 births per woman by 2050.
In 2020, the global growth rate has dropped by about 1% a year for the first time since 1950. But the world population is expected to peak at about 10.4 billion people during the 2080s and remain at that level until 2100.
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