Globally, about 26 percent of the world is under 15 years of age and some 9 percent is over 64 years of age. In Europe, the gap is much closer, with 16 percent of the population being under 15 years old and 18 percent being over 64 years of age. Many regions have experienced vastly decreased population growth rates with the exception of a few countries like those in the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa. South Sudan and Malawi have some of the highest population growth rates, totaling 3.92 percent and 3.32 percent, respectively. Fertility rates are likely high in countries like these with high growth rates where women have on average five or more children. However, about 50 percent of the world’s population lives in countries with low fertility, where women have less than 2.1 children. Countries in Europe, like Latvia and Lithuania have experienced a population decline of 1.07 percent and 1.06 percent, respectively in 2016. In Europe, the majority of the population was previously working-aged adults with few dependents, but this trend is expected to reverse soon and it is predicted that by 2050, the older population will outnumber the young in many developed countries.
The global population has grown rapidly since the beginning of the Common Era when world’s population was about 300 million people. In 1950, there were about 2.53 billion people living in the world and as of 2018, there were about 7.6 billion people.