How is life in impoverished African countries

The United Nations has revised its population projections upwards significantly: by the end of this century there should be 11.2 billion world citizens. People in countries with high population growth rates are at risk of further impoverishment, hunger crises and conflicts. A development that could further increase the refugee and migration pressure in the direction of the emerging and industrialized countries if action is not taken.

The interplay of birth and death rates as well as international migration determine the change in population size and structure in all societies. While life expectancy is increasing significantly in most countries, improvements in the economy, health care and education levels have so far had a much less impact on the dampening of the birth rate than experts expected. The prognoses about the number of people who will live on and off the earth in the future vary widely - depending on the assumptions made in each case.

Accordingly, the United Nations has now revised its population forecasts significantly upwards: In 2017, around 7.55 billion people lived on earth, in 2030 there will be around one billion more and by the end of this century there should be 11, 2 billion global citizens. The UN no longer rules out further population growth.

Behind this global development are very different regional trends: While the population figures in Europe are falling and in America and Australia remain relatively stable, they continue to rise, especially in the poorest countries in Asia and Africa: 15 years ago, sub-Saharan Africa became a population predicted of 1.8 billion in 2050, today it is assumed that the current population will double to 2.5 billion by then.

This has massive effects, especially on countries with high population growth rates: The population density and the pressure on the environment will increase, food security will become more difficult and the basic infrastructure (schools, health centers, settlement areas, drinking water and energy supply, roads, etc.) will have to be much faster and more comprehensive to be expanded as planned.

According to UNESCO estimates, in sub-Saharan Africa, for example, the number of children of primary school age will increase by 38 percent by 2030 and that of secondary school children by as much as 48 percent. In order to provide these children with adequate schooling, 7.1 million teachers need additional training. The World Health Organization predicts that about 1.1 million doctors will be missing from Africa in 2030. To meet this need, the capacity of medical schools must be tripled. Many developing countries are already finding it difficult to meet current demand. The new figures present them with enormous challenges that they will hardly be able to cope with without external support.

Read on under the interactive world map.

Birth rate

1.4 children

Average per woman, 2010