It’s getting crowded out there. According to an updated report from the United Nations, the planet’s population is not following the expected curve: topping out at about 9 billion mid-century and then leveling off. Instead, the demographic trends point to continued growth, bringing the worldwide population to 10.1 billion by the end of the century — nearly a 50% increase for a planet now inhabited by just under 7 billion.
The highest rates of growth will be concentrated in poverty-stricken countries with low education levels, especially those in Africa, where the population is expected to more than triple to 3.5 billion. Nigeria’s population, for instance, would more than quadruple, to 730 million. In the Middle East, the population of Yemen is projected to more than quadruple by the end of the century; this in a country that has a limited water supply and already must import much of its food.