In case you are interested in the latest information on the world population, the Population Reference Bureau  just published the 2010 World Population Data Sheet.

The Data Sheet and its summary report offer detailed information on 19 population, health, and environment indicators for more than 200 countries, contrasting between developed and developing countries.

Highlights of the report include:

* The worldwide recession appears to have caused declines in birth rates in some developed countries, such as Spain and the United States; and slowed down increases where birth rates had begun to rise, such as in Norway and Russia.
* Africa’s population is projected to double to 2 billion by 2050, although this growth could be greater if birth rates do not decrease faster than currently. Africa’s total fertility rate is 4.7 children per woman.
* Worldwide, 40 percent of the population, or more than 2.7 billion people, lack access to an adequate sanitation facility. The bulk of the underserved live in rural areas of developing countries. Only 40 percent of people in rural areas in these countries have access to sanitation.
* As the U.S. population ages, spending on entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare will rise sharply. Total spending on these two programs is projected to increase from today’s level of 8.4 percent of GDP to 12.5 percent in 2030.

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