The world’s population reached an estimated 7.3 billion in 2016. Forecasts suggest a further billion people will be added by 2030, and the global population could reach 10 billion people by as early as 2050. While men in industrialised countries typically use more energy per capita than women – because of their higher use of fuel for transport – in poor countries the opposite is often the case, because a higher proportion of energy is used in households. This could have significant repercussions for the pace of gas demand growth.
Most of the increase in the global population by 2050 will come from just nine countries, five of which are in Africa, according to 2015 estimates by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Based on the size of their contribution to global population growth, the countries listed are India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, the United States, Indonesia and Uganda.
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