Eighty percent of all mankind will live in third world countries by the end of this century, according to a UN report published Sunday. Rafael Salas, executive director of the UN Fund for Population Activities, said 2 billion people would be added to the world's population in the 1980s and '90s, almost as many as were added between 1950 and 1980. By the end of the century the population of the third world would almost equal the world total for 1950, he said.
He said East Asia would be an exception to the population growth in economically developing regions because of a projected decline in China's birthrate. As a result, the region's global share was expected to decrease from 28 percent to 23 percent by the year 2000.
"The share of the rest of Asia is projected to rise from 32 percent to 36 percent, Africa from 11 percent to 13 percent, and Latin America from 8 percent to 10 percent during the same period," Mr. Salas said.
He estimated that between 1950 and 2000, some 600 million people will have been added to the combined population of Africa and Latin America. Asia's population would grow by more than a billion, 780 million of them in South Asia.
In 1950, only 4 of the world's 15 largest cities were in developing countries , but he projected that by the year 2000, 12 of the 15 largest cities would be in the third world. Sixty cities by then would have populations of more than a million, compared with only six in 1950, Mr. Salas said. Forty-five of the cities would be in third world, 29 of them in Asia, with a combined population of 300 million.