In the year 2005, people were making numerous estimates about what the world would be like in the year 2050. Perhaps this writeup will serve as a time capsule of sorts and we can check back in 45 years to see which predictions came true...

In the year AD 2050...

  • The world's population will pass 9 billion (UN estimate).
  • The Earth's average annual temperature will have increased by 1.4 degrees centigrade compared with the year 2001 (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).
  • India will be the most populous nation in the world, with a population of 1.65 billion, edging out China, which will have 1.6 billion. (UN estimate).
  • China will have the largest economy in the world, followed by the United States and India. Russia and Brazil will be numbers four and five. Japan will drop to number six. (Goldman Sachs estimates)
  • Africa will see the greatest population growth, more than doubling its inhabitants from 900 million today to 1.9 billion.
  • Europe's population will decline to 300 million - the same number of Europeans there were in 1950 (Eurostat).
  • A ridiculous 30 percent of Japanese people will be over 65 years of age. Declining birthrates will cause the Japanese population to plummet from 130 million today to only 100 million in 2050 (Japanese National Institute of Population and Social Security Research).
  • The average person born in 2050 will live to be 75 years old, compared with 65 today (UN Estimate).
  • Japan's average life expectancy will still be the world's highest, at 90 years (UN estimate).
  • Half (49.8%) of the United States will be nonwhite. 98.2 million Hispanic Americans will make up 24.3 percent of 404 million Americans, compared to 12 percent today. One in three American schoolchildren will be Hispanic American. (US Census Bureau).
  • Unless new treatments are found the number of Americans with Alzheimer's Disease will triple to 13.2 million, compared with 4.5 million today (recent study published in Archives of Neurology)
  • 278 million people will be infected with AIDS worldwide, compared with 48 million today (UN estimate).
  • A soccer team of robots will defeat a team of humans by 2050 (AT&T robotics researcher, Japanese robot experts at Osaka Robot Laboratory)
  • 95% of the Great Barrier Reef will have died due to rising sea levels (Queensland University study).
  • The Dead Sea will have disappeared, if levels continue to drop at the present rate (BBC News)
  • One million species of plants and animals will be extinct due to habitat loss and climate change (University of Leeds study).
  • Approximately 3000 of the 6000 languages spoken in the world today will be extinct by 2050 (University of Manchester study).


2049 - 2050 - 2051

21st century

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