UN’s Three Projections on World Population

The actual size of the future world population remains a great mystery due to its dynamic growth rate. For that reason, the United Nations gave three projections, including the low, medium, and high variant, to estimate the global population. The projections are revised every five years based on fertility and mortality rate trends to make them more accurate (Tripathi et al. 2019). Notably, these populations have diverse socio-economic impacts on the way I live and my immediate community.

The United Nation’s high projection refers to a situation where the fertility rate exceeds the medium variant by 0.5 births considering that mortality and migration rates remain constant. There will be more young people than the elderly because the birthrate is higher than the average, but the mortality rate is normal. Under this variant, the global population would be about 10.0 billion by 2050 and 13.0 billion in 2100 (United Nations, 2019). Such population size would negatively affect my lifestyle because I will experience unemployment, difficulty securing good education, housing, and health services due to excess competition. According to Tripathi et al. (2019), there would be acute food shortage due to over-exploitation of natural resources such as soil, water, and forests to provide resources that can sustain such a population would risk the increase in climate change. It increases the risk of global warming, thus endangering my life and other people.

Additionally, the medium projection describes a population where the fertility rate is average and birth rate is normal, holding mortality rate and migration constant. There will be a balance between the young, middle-aged, and elderly populations. Based on this projection, the world population in 2050 would be 9.7 billion while in 2100 it will increase to 11.0 billion (United Nations, 2019). Unlike the high variant, the medium variant projection would make my life even better because the population would be at its optimum level. It would have little or no impact on my lifestyle and the immediate society because population growth is optimal, and several socio-economic factors will have slightly changed. However, my life would be better if rapid economic growth is retained.

Furthermore, the low variant projection assumes that the fertility rate will be lower than the medium variant, holding that mortality rate and migration constant.  In this case, there will be more older people than the young and active population. This variant shows that the world population in 2050 would be 8.5 billion while in 2100 would hit 10.0 billion in 2100 (United Nations, 2019). As a business person, this would negatively affect my life because there would be a decline in demand for goods and services since the active population’s size would have reduced significantly (Lutz & KC, 2010). My business would also experience a decline in labor supply since the number of active people looking for employment would have reduced because the exit rate from the market due to high retirement would be higher than the entry rate.’

In conclusion, the projections have both good and bad impacts on my life. The high projection would increase socio-economic hardships and pollution since the population size is above average. The medium projection would have no or very little impact on my life since the population would be at its optimum level (United Nations, 2019). However, this is the population size that is ideal for better socio-economic growth. Finally, low population growth leads to a decline in the active population, decreasing demand for some products, and a decline in labor supply.


Lutz, W., & KC, S. (2010). Dimensions of global population projections: what do we know

about future population trends and structures?. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences365(1554), 2779-2791.

Tripathi, A. D., Mishra, R., Maurya, K. K., Singh, R. B., & Wilson, D. W. (2019). Estimates for

world population and global food availability for global health. In The role of functional food security in global health (pp. 3-24). Academic Press.

United Nations. (2019). World population prospects 2019: highlights. Department of Economic

and Social Affairs, Population Division.