PARIS: Growing birth rates in developing countries are triggering a global baby boom, while women in dozens of richer countries do not produce enough children to maintain a population level there, according to data released Friday.
A global overview of birth, death, and disease rates estimated by thousands of data sets, depending on the country, have also found that heart disease is now the only leading cause of death worldwide.
The Institute of Metrics and Health Assessment (IHME), founded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation at the University of Washington, uses more than 8,000 data sources – more than 600 new ones – to compile one of the most consistent aspects of global healthcare.
Their sources include investigations in the country, social media and open source materials.
It was found that, while the world's population jumped from 2.6 billion in 1950 to 7.6 billion last year, this growth was very uneven in terms of region and income.
Ninety-one nations, mainly in Europe and North and South America, did not produce enough children to maintain their current population, according to the IHME study.
But in Africa and Asia, fertility rates continue to grow, while the average woman in Niger gives birth to seven children throughout her life.
But Mokdad, a professor of medical metrics at IHME, told AFP that the most important factor in determining population growth is education.
"It is all the way to socioeconomic factors, but it is a function of women's education," he said. "The more women are educated, she spends several years at school, postpone her pregnancy and so will have fewer babies."
IHME found that Cyprus is the smallest fertile nation on Earth, with an average woman born only once in her life.
By contrast, women in Mali, Chad and Afghanistan have on average more than six babies.
The United Nations predicts that more than 10 billion people will be on the planet by the middle of the century, mostly in line with the IHME projection.
This raises the question of how many people can support our world, known as the "carrying capacity" of the Earth.
Mokdad said that while the population in developing countries continues to increase, so that their economy is growing at all.
This usually has an effect on the fertility rate over time.
"In Asia and Africa, the population continues to grow and people move from poverty to better income – if there are no wars or unrest," he said.
"It is expected that economies will be evaluated more economically and it is more likely that fertility will degrade and offset there."
Not only now we have more than billion now more than 70 years, but we also live longer than ever before.
A study published in the medical journal The Lancet showed that the lifespan of men's life increased to 71 from 48 in 1950. Women are expected to live at 76 years, compared to 53 in 1950.
Longer life brings our own health problems because we aging and aggravating and putting more strain on our health care systems.
IHME said that heart disease is now the leading cause of death globally. Since 1990, the biggest killer was a neonatal disorder, followed by pulmonary diseases and diarrhea.
In Uzbekistan, Ukraine and Azerbaijan, the highest number of deaths occurred in heart disease, with South Korea, Japan and France having the lowest results.
"You see less mortality from contagious diseases, because the countries become richer, but also more disabilities because people live longer," Mokdad said.
He pointed out that although death from infectious diseases, such as malaria and tuberculosis, has declined significantly since 1990, new, non-infectious killers have taken their place.
"There are certain behaviors that lead to an increase in cardiovascular disease and cancer. Obesity is the number one – it is increasing each year and our behavior contributes to it."