NEW YORK - Most developing regions of the world have made substantial strides in reducing their birth rates and are on their way to increasing life expectancies and boosting individual economic activity, according to a recent newsletter prepared for Conference Board Associates by Gail Fosler, vice president and chief economist.
Among the findings:
The world population is expected to reach 8.1 billion by 2025, a 40% increase despite the significant decline in the global birth rate.
Africa will emerge as an increasingly important demographic power.
Its birth rate is twice that of most other developing countries and its population will double in the next 15 years, topping 1 billion by 2010, making it almost as big as China.
The average world life expectancy of 66 years will increase at a rate of two years each decade through 2025. With this trend, the dominance of the very young in developing markets will diminish and the dispersion of populations across all age groups will widen. A much greater portion of the global population will form families and advance to the wealth-accumulating stages of life than ever before, the report said.
While 32% of the world's population today is younger than 15 years old, that share will drop to 28% by 2010.
"Given the strong institutional family base and the rapid economic growth in many of these emerging countries, these markets may mirror not only the demographics, but the structure, aspirations and vitality of the U.S. consumer market of the immediate post-World War II period," the report said.