Summary
  • This data sheet also in French and Spanish.

PRB's 2005 World Population Data Sheet Reveals Persisting Global Inequalities in Health and Well-Being

(August 2005) As world leaders focus on global poverty alleviation, deep inequalities in not only income but also health and well-being continue to plague many countries around the world.

PRB's 2005 World Population Data Sheet provides new and essential information on just how much separates rich from poor. Even in a world where rates of both infant mortality and population growth have been generally declining, and where both life expectancy and girls' education have been generally rising:

  • More than one-half of the world's people live below the internationally defined poverty line of less than U.S. $2 a day—including 97 percent in Uganda, 80 percent in Nicaragua, 66 percent in Pakistan, and 47 percent in China, according to data from the World Bank.
  • Nearly one-third of rural residents worldwide lack access to safe drinking water.
  • The use of modern contraceptives is more common among wealthier women than poor women in nearly all countries, and the gap is particularly pronounced in the poorest countries, in places as diverse as Uganda and Nepal.
  • Africa's infant mortality rate is nearly 15 times that of the developed world.
  • The more developed world uses over five times the energy per capita used by the less developed world. North America uses over eight times as much energy per person as does Latin America.

Examples of these linkages abound in the 2005 World Population Data Sheet, which provides up-to-date demographic, health, and environment data for all the countries and major regions of the world.

For example, 73 percent of Tanzania's population is living on less than $2 a day, only 20 percent of its married women of reproductive age use modern methods of contraception, and only 62 percent of its rural population has access to clean drinking water. Life expectancy at birth in Tanzania now stands at only 44 years because of the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS.

Other highlights from the 2005 Data Sheet:

  • U.S. population growth will continue. The United States is projected to remain the third most-populous country (behind India and China) through 2050.
  • Fertility declines have stalled in some countries. In countries such as Kenya and Turkey, fertility rates have hit plateaus after earlier substantial declines.
  • Age structures and fertility rates differ. Dramatically different age structures and fertility rates will mean that the populations of many less-developed countries will continue to grow more rapidly than those in Europe. For instance, while Tanzania and Poland now have similar population sizes, Tanzania will have more than twice as many people as Poland in 2050.