indicatorThe Owl

Global population to reach 9.7 billion by 2050

A trend that might not be as well known is that the growth rate has actually been slowing down for some time

By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 22 July 2021 1 min read

It’s a big world out there and it keeps growing. Because our economy is heavily reliant on global trade, this is good news for Alberta.

In light of this, today’s Owl is focused on global population trends.

A key trend of which almost everyone is aware is the massive growth that has taken place. In 1950, the global population was about 2.54 billion. Fast forward to 2020, and it was 7.79 billion, an increase of 207% in 70 years.

A trend that might not be as well known is that the growth rate has actually been slowing down for some time. The annual growth rate peaked in 1968 at 2.07%. As of 2020, it was down to 1.04%. By 2050, it is forecast to be just 0.49%.

The slower growth has been driven by a lower fertility rate. The global fertility rate in 1950 was 4.84 children per woman compared to under 2.5 today.

Despite the slower rate of growth, the human population is forecast to expand by almost two billion people between now and 2050.

As stated on the Our World in Data website, “The world population will reach a size, which compared to humanity’s history, will be extraordinary; if the UN projections are accurate (they have a good track record), the world population will have increased more than 10-fold over the span of 250 years.”

There are many challenges facing the global population including ensuring everyone has clean water and proper sanitation, ending energy poverty, reducing child mortality, and preventing hunger and malnutrition. There is much Albertans can do to help on these fronts.

At the same time, a growing and more prosperous global community creates tremendous opportunities for a trading economy like Alberta.

Answer to the previous trivia question: Of the 800 largest corporations in Canada in 2020, 312 had annual revenue that year of $1 billion or more.

Today’s trivia question: How many people have lived since, let’s say, 190,000 BCE?

The global population is forecast to reach 10.9 billion by 2100

The global population is forecast to reach 10.9 billion by 2100


Economics News

Subscribe and get a quick daily snapshot of what’s happening in Alberta’s economy

Need help?

Our Client Care team will be happy to assist.

Chat now
ATB Virtual Assistant
The ATB Virtual Assistant doesn't support landscape mode. Please tilt your device vertically to portrait mode.
×