174 Superlongevity Without Overpopulation experiencing a drastic reduction of population growth. This is true despite major relative life extension – the extra decades of life bestowed by medical intervention and nutrition. Taking  a  global  perspective,  the  numbers  reveal  that  the average annual population growth rate peaked in 1965–1970 at 2.07 percent. Ever since then, the rate of increase has been declining, coming down to 1.2 per cent annually. That means the addition of 77 million people per year, based on an esti- mated world population of 6.1 billion in mid-2000. [3] A mere six countries account for fully half of this growth: India  for  21  percent;  China  for  12  percent;  Pakistan  for 5 percent; Nigeria for 4 percent; Bangladesh for 4 percent, and Indonesia for 3 percent. China has markedly reduced the average number of births per woman over the last 50 years from six to 1.8. Starting from the same birth rate at that time, India has fallen much less, although still almost halving the rate  to  3.23  percent.  If  these  trends  continue  up  to  2050, India’s population will exceed that of China. [5] Despite  the  fecundity  of  these  top  people-producers,  the overall picture is an encouraging one: The total fertility rate for the world as a whole dropped by  nearly  two-fifths  between  1950/55  and  1990/95 – from about 5 children per woman down to about 3.1 children per woman. Average fertility in the more devel- oped regions fell from 2.8 to 1.7 children per woman, well below biological replacement. Meanwhile total fer- tility rates in less developed nations fell by 40 percent, falling from 6.2 to 3.5 children per woman. [6] We can expect population growth to continue slowing until it reaches a stable size. What size will that be? No one knows for  sure,  but  the  best  UN  numbers  indicate  that  popula- tion may peak at as low as 8 billion people, with a medium projection  of  9.3  billion  and  an  upper  limit  projection  of