For Every Three Dwellings in the World Today, an Additional One Needs to be Built
In addition to U.S. population forecasts, the U.S. Census Bureau also forecasts population for all foreign countries. Some countries are on track to more than double by 2050 while others are shrinking (Russia and China, for example). Uganda, for example, with 33.4 million people in 2010 is projected to explode to 128 million by 2050—a gain of 283 percent.
The forecasts are based on fertility rates, age groups, sex, mortality and an assumption of some level of net migration.
In 2010, the world had an estimated 6.9 billion people and is expected to increase to 9.4 billion by 2050—a gain of 37.5 percent (which is relatively similar to the U.S. forecast gain of 37.1 percent). The implications are massive considering the demand impacts on real estate, water, infrastructure, food, education, health, energy and other factors. From the perspective of housing, for example, assuming we maintain a static number of people per dwelling unit, in the next 40 years for every three dwelling units that existing today one more will need to constructed. If you are concerned about energy and water demands today, visualize a world in which demand will potentially increase by a third. And then think of the required investment in infrastructure just to deliver the water, energy and transportation systems.
The attached Excel sheet is a list of countries and the respective population for 2010, 2020 and 2050. Following the first tab are three others detailing the largest countries, those counties with the greatest anticipated population increase and decline and the countries with the largest net gain in population.