The world population will reach Seven Billion later this year, with increases in the number of people in Africa off-setting birth rate drops elsewhere.
Looking much further ahead, the National Institute for Demographic Studies (INED) predicts a continuing rise in the overall population figures until the total stabilizes somewhere between 9-10 billion worldwide by the end of the century.
From six billion people, the figure estimated in 1999, the gap between the global birth and death rates has swiftly brought the total figure towards the next billion in just 12 years.
According the new French study, INED expects it to take a further 14 years to reach eight billion people before the figures start stabilizing. In historical terms the growth in the global population has been soaring since the 19th century.