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Professor Tony Champion


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This is a presentation delivered by Professor Tony Champion at the RUSI Global Trends and Implications for British Security Conference.

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Professor Tony Champion

  1. 1. Global population and urbanization trends: the challenge for the UK Tony Champion Emeritus Professor of Population Geography, Newcastle University, and President of the British Society for Population Studies Presentation to ‘Demography and Urbanization’ session of the Global Trends and Implications for British Security Conference at the Royal United Services Institute, London, 9 October 2014 Email:
  2. 2. Key points • Global population growth is now expected to continue into the 22nd century • Almost all the 3.7bn global growth 2013-2100 is to take place in developing countries, fastest in the least developed • An increasingly urban world: 54% now, rising to 66% 2050, with greatest absolute increases in India, China and Nigeria • International migration flows and rates have been fairly stable since 1990s, and most flows are within Asia and Africa • Even so, the UK will be in the top four MDCs for net migration gain 2013-2050, with 165k/year assumed for 2019-2062 • And shorter-stay movement and visiting are increasing, with 110m arrivals at the UK border in the year to June 2014
  3. 3. Global population growth now expected to continue into the 22nd century • According to UN’s World Population Prospects 2012, the global population will be 10.9bn in 2100, up by 3.7bn from 2013 estimate of 7.2bn • But the rate of growth is still expected to be slowing, and the annual absolute increase, too: the 8th billion added in 12 years, the 9th in 17 years, the 10th in 38 years PROBABLY……..Note: • The UN’s WPP 2010 projected only 10.1bn for 2100, but now raised to 10.9bn, mainly because the 2010 round of censuses indicates slower than expected fall in fertility • This is the central projection, whereas the high-fertility one gives 16.6bn for 2100 and a no-fertility-change one 28.6bn • Probabilistic projections show 80% chance of 9.6-12.3bn
  4. 4. Almost all the 3.7bn global growth to take place in developing countries, fastest in the least developed • According to UN’s WPP 2012, 97% of the growth to 2100 is accounted for by developing countries • More developed countries projected to grow by just 0.03bn (from 1.25 to 1.28bn), and this entirely due to net migration from rest of world (offsetting surplus of deaths over births) • Developing world population rises from 5.9bn to 9.6bn, i.e. by 63% • Least developed countries population rises from 898m to 2.93bn, i.e. + 2.03bn or by 230% (more than tripling) • 5 of every 6 extra people (3.1bn) accounted for by Africa, with almost quadrupling by 2100 • Nigeria is projected to be the largest gainer (extra 740m), while 10-fold growth in Niger • See table
  5. 5. Population change, 2013-2100, according to UN WPP 2012’s central projection 2013 2050 2100 2013-2100 WORLD 7,192 9,551 10,854 +3,692 MDR 1,253 1,303 1,284 +31 LDR, of which: 5,909 8,248 9,570 +3,661 Least DC 898 1,811 2,928 +2,030 Africa, of which 1,111 2,393 4,185 +3,074 Nigeria 174 450 914 +740 Tanzania 49 129 276 +227 Congo DR 68 155 262 +194 Niger 18 69 204 +186 Source: UN WPP 2012
  6. 6. An increasingly urban world • The UN’s World Urbanization Prospects 2014 Revision projects to 2050 (for country levels) and 2030 (for cities) • Global urbanization level had reached 54% by 2014, up from 30% 1950, with 66% projected for 2050 • Urban numbers currently put at 3.9bn, rising to 6.4bn in 2050, i.e. an increase of 2.5bn (64%) in 36 years • 9 in 10 of this increase to be in Asia and Africa: 37% in just 3 countries: India (+404m), China (+292m), Nigeria (+212m) • 1 in 2 of urban dwellers reside in <0.5m cities currently, with only 1 in 8 in the 28 10m+ cities • 41 cities with 10m+ residents by 2030 (Tokyo 37m, Delhi 36m, Shanghai 31m), but most growth to be in <1m cities
  7. 7. International migration: the recent record • People living outside their country of birth (‘immigrant stock’) numbered 191m in 2005, now estimated at 232m • Flows are much larger than these stock numbers suggest because of returning migrants and deaths • A study by Abel and Sander (in Science 28 March 2014) calculates 41.5m people changing country 2005-2010 • This is equivalent to 0.6% of world population – a rate that they find to have fallen since the early 1990s • They estimate that the largest flows are: between South and West Asia; from Latin to North America; and within Africa
  8. 8. International migration: anticipations • Abel and Sander ask: ‘Will strong population growth in sub-Saharan Africa lead to mass migration from lower-income countries there to Europe & North America?’ • Given their evidence on 1990-2010, they answer: ‘Unlikely’, but add ‘Nevertheless, human capital and demographic trends create a considerable potential for change in the global migration system. If future population growth in SSA were to be paralleled by a commensurate expansion in education, the growth of a more skilled workforce may lead to an increase in skilled migration from Africa to the more developed world.’ • According to the UN WPP, the MDRs will see a net migration gain of 96m in 2010-2050, i.e. 2.4m/year, with biggest net gainers being USA, Canada, Australia & UK
  9. 9. Migration and travel affecting the UK • Net emigration till early 1990s, then steady increase in net migration gains, reaching ca 250k/year 2004-2007 • Combination of net emigration of British citizens and gains of non-British, especially A8 from 2004 • Overall net gain numbers are volatile from year to year, partly real but also due to survey sampling errors • Net migration to the UK for year ending March 2014 was 243k, up from 175k for previous year • Latest (2012-based) UK population projections assume long-term net gain of 165k/year (cf 200k in 2010-based) • Gross flows much higher than net: in year to March 2014, 560k moved to UK for stay of 12 months+, 316k left • Much larger numbers of visitors: 8.7m from non-EEA in year to June 2014. Total journeys to UK = 110 million !!
  10. 10. Global trends a challenge for the UK? • Huge demographic pressures are building in the LDRs and especially the least developed countries of Africa, with implications for land, water, energy, etc • The urban agglomerations there are growing even faster, which could enhance economic and social development but also lead to pressure on infrastructure • Much of the urban growth is in coastal cities, so is vulnerable to rising sea level, highlighting the importance of climate change mitigation and adaptation policies • Continuing gender inequalities lie behind fertility rates not declining as quickly as expected, with much depending on expanding female education and career opportunities • Traditionally, most of these population pressures are absorbed by internal displacement or adjacent countries, so the impacts on UK population may remain limited
  11. 11. Even so… • Great uncertainty about the future level of global population change; ditto for UK, with central projection of 80m for 2062 (cf 64m now) but official variants ranging from 68m to 93m • Most of UK’s population growth will be through immigration and its effects on fertility, leading to increasing ethnic diversity (even if this slows population ageing somewhat) • Ethnic integration may prove more challenging if new social media encourages non-natives to keep more closely in touch with family and issues in their country of origin • Even if ‘long-term’ international migration is not increasing, shorter-term global movement continues to grow, further stretching the vetting machinery at borders
  12. 12. Sources Abel GJ and Sander N (2014) Quantifying global international migration flows, Science vol 343 no 6178, pp. 1520-1522 Gerland P, Rafftery A et al. (2014) World population stabilization unlikely this century, Science, online 18 Sept 2014 doi 10.1126/science 1257469 Home Office (2014) Immigration Statistics, April-June 2014, Home Office, London MOD (2014) Global Strategic Trends – Out to 2045. Ministry of Defence, London, Fifth edition ONS (2014) Migration Statistics Quarterly Report, August 2014, Office for National Statistics UN (2011) World Population Prospects; The 2010 Revision. United Nations Population Division, New York UN (2013) World Population Prospects: The 2012 Revision. United Nations Population Division, New York UN (2014) World Urbanization Prospects: The 2014 Revision. United Nations Population Division, New York UNFPA et al. (2013) Population Dynamics in the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Report of the Global Thematic Consultation on Population Dynamics. UNFPA, UNDESA, UN-HABITAT, IOM