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Predicting the global population

10 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 13 October 2012

Yan Wong looks at the numbers in the news, and in life. This week: The United Nations Population Fund recently predicted that but by 2050 1 in 5 of the global population will be over 60. They’re probably right: everyone who will be 60 in 2050 is already alive. But when you start to predict population levels further into the future, it gets much more difficult. Recent data suggests some of our long-held assumptions about what happens to fertility rates as countries develop could be about to change. Also in the programme: can it really be true that 1 in 150 babies are born to mothers who did not know they were pregnant? (Spoiler alert: the short answer is ‘no’.)

(Image: a huge crowd of people Credit: AFP/Getty)


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