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People. 1981; 8(2):26.The slowed down world population growth rate masks the magnitude of the net population increase. This warning comes in the new set of population projections prepared by the United Nations Population Division in 1980. These estimates, submitted to the 21st session of the Population Commission in January, indicate that the annual rate of growth of the world population had declined from 2% about 15 years ago to 1.7% and may decline to 1.5% by the end of the century. The world population has increased by 1.9 billion in the last 3 decades; 2.6 billion people are expected to be added in the coming 3 decades, bring the world population to 7 billion by 2010. About nine-tenths of the annual increase is having to be absorbed in the developing countries, despite a substantial decline in the birth rate of 41/1000 in 1960-65 to 32/1000 at present. Most of the decline has occurred in China and in several Asian and Latin American countries. Little or no decline is yet apparent in South Asia and Africa. By 1978 only 7 out of 24 Western developed countries had fertility rates above the replacement level. The UN Population Division's analyses of government policies in 165 countries show that 84 governments consider fertility levels in their countries to be satisfactory, 22 too low and 59 too high. 17 governments have policies to increase fertility and 39 to reduce it.