WASHINGTON — The world's population will increase by 1 billion in this decade, predicts the World Bank. That's in addition to the present 5.3 billion people around the globe. Within 20 years, the world's population will total 7 billion and could reach 11 billion by the end of the next century.
This ballooning in population, the Bank says in a new report, will continue even though birth rates should fall slightly in the first half of the 1990s. ``The resulting lower population growth rates have not compensated for the steadily enlarging population base,'' the report says.
By the year 2025, 84 percent of the world population will live in developing nations because of higher population growth rates in those countries. That will be up from 76 percent in 1985. Populations in low-income countries are growing by almost 60 million a year. High-income populations are growing by only 4 million a year.
Asia, which accounts for about 58 percent of the world's population, is growing by about 55 million people annually. Africa's population is growing more rapidly, with a 3 percent annual increase, compared with only 1.9 percent in Asia.
Africa now has a smaller population than Asia, Europe and the Soviet Union, and North and South America. By the year 2000, according to the report, Africa's population will be second only to Asia.
The report also predicts that China will likely hold the ranking of the world's most populous country for almost 100 years from now. India will continue to contribute more to world population growth than any other country for the next two centuries. India adds as many people each year as live in Nepal or Australia.
Fastest population growth is in Rwanda, Kenya, Malawi, and Saudi Arabia, where the fertility level is above 7, the report states.