Women massively outnumber men? UN population projections show no such thing

A screenshot of shared articles trashed as verified as fake news by AFP Fact Check desk. [AFP]

A newspaper article shared thousands of times in Nigeria claims that there are only 2.2 billion men in a world that has 5.6 billion women, quoting a “1st Quarter Demography Report 2019” by the United Nations. This is false; the UN Population Division confirmed the latest world population projection to AFP as 3.82 billion females and 3.89 billion males.

The report by Nigerian newspaper Daily Independent, which brands itself as “the most read newspaper among business and political elites”, claims that there are now 7.8 billion people in the world.

A newspaper article shared thousands of times in Nigeria claims that there are only 2.2 billion men in a world that has 5.6 billion women, quoting a “1st Quarter Demography Report 2019” by the United Nations. This is false; the UN Population Division confirmed the latest world population projection to AFP as 3.82 billion females and 3.89 billion males.

The report by Nigerian newspaper Daily Independent, which brands itself as “the most read newspaper among business and political elites”, claims that there are now 7.8 billion people in the world.

Multiple Twitter accounts, archived here, here and here, also shared the same article or content of the article. In Kenya, the claims were also used to publish a false article, archived here.

In April, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) released the 2019 State of the World Population Report, which reflects on “the current state of sexual and reproductive health” of the world. That report, which can be found here, did not detail the population of the world by gender.

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The last World Population report, published by the UN in 2017 and simplified here, revealed that there were 7,550,262,000 people in the world at the time. An estimated 50.4 percent of the world’s population was male and 49.6 percent female -- highlighting the fact that there were more males than females.

Eddie Wright, communication specialist for youth and population at UNFPA, told AFP that “the most up-to-date” numbers for global population come from the UN Population Division, which is separate from UNFPA.

He added that based on projections by the UN Population Division, there are 7,714,577,000 people in the world as of 2019, with 3,822,561,000 females and 3,892,016,000 males. Wright said, “it is also worth noting that new projections are set to come out next Monday”.

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