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Demography and migrations

Introduction

According to a United Nations report of June 2019, the world population is expected to grow by about two billion over the next 30 years, from 7.7 billion today to 9.7 billion in 2050. Also, according to this study at the end of this century it could reach the figure of 11 million people.

Obviously, this population growth is not uniform and proportionate in all countries of the world. Some of them are driving these trends in an important way, such as India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Indonesia, Egypt and the United States. Of all the countries, the Indian one is certainly the one that has, and will have, impressive growth, so much so that between 2024 and 2027 it should overtake China as the most populous nation in the world. In contrast there is Europe, characterized by phenomena such as the decline of births rate and the constant aging of the population.

The global fertility rate has dropped from 3.2 births per woman in 1990 to 2.5 in 2019. In 2050, according to the study conducted by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, it will drop again to 2.2. In the same period of time, life expectancy increased from 64.2 years to 72.6 today. The forecast is that in 30 years it will reach 77.1 years.

Analysing demographic trends is essential to know and predict, at least in part, what is today one of the most discussed phenomena of our society, that of migration. The two things go hand in hand, even if obviously demographic growths and declines are not the only dynamics to be considered when it comes to migration.

Wars, persecutions, poverty, environmental and climatic phenomena such as drought or famine, have always been reasons why the world population moves, travels, migrate in search of stability and security. According to data from the United Nations High Commissioner, UNHCR, about 70 million people are forced to travel today.

Of this figure, about 40 million live in precarious conditions and displaced within their own country, 27 million are refugees who fled abroad while about 3 million are those who have sought asylum. The flows and numbers affecting the Old Continent represent only a small part of them.