According to the most recent UN predictions the next century will see an explosive growth in the world’s population, much of which will be accounted for in Africa. The global population is expected to rise from 7.3 billion to 11.2 billion by 2100, and the population of Africa is predicted to increase from 1.2 billion to 4.4 billion.

The countries expected to have the largest populations by 2100 are: India, China, Nigeria, US, Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, Indonesia, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Niger.  Geography students should look at how the UN calculates their predictions, and what factors these forecasts are based on.

Fertility rates have been decreasing globally but this decrease is not as rapid in African countries as on other continents. HSPS or Archaeology and Anthropology applicants should consider the reason for the global decrease in fertility, and why this may be different in Africa.

There are concerns that such a population growth may make it harder for governments to eradicate poverty and inequality and combat hunger and malnutrition. PPE students should consider how governments may approach such high population growth, and History applicants should look into past situations of rapid growth in poor and developing countries. 

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