The world in 2025

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Article summary

European Commission, 2009. The world in 2025: rising Asia and socio-ecological transition. Office for Official Publ. of the European Communities.

The world in 2025

The article by European Commission underlines major future trends. This is through looking at the geopolitical transformations based on the population, poverty, global trade and economic development. The article also looks at the tension which involves migration, urbanisation, and natural resources. Lastly, it points out at the transitional pathways.

Asian century

According to the article, by 2025, about two-thirds of the world population will be residing in Asia. The world population is expected to rise by 20% from the current 6.5 billion to reach 8 billion. It is also expected that India population will be approaching that of China. Due to high fertility rates, the population in South Asia will grow at a high rate. The European Union population at the same time will only account for 6.5% of the global population. The union will be having the largest group of people over 65 years. 95% of the urban growth will be accounted for by the cities located in developing countries.

In 2025, emerging and developing countries will be having 34% of the global wealth. It is important to note that at this time, China, India, and Korea will have as much power as the European Union. Before 2025, the article predicts that China will be the second world economic power while India will be the sixth. The global middle class will be accounting for about 1 billion people globally with 90% living in developing countries. The EU will not be holding the position of first world exporter. Based on the recent trends, Asia will be the leader in scientific and technological supremacy overtaking Europe and the United States. It will be possible to move from current “brain drain” to a balanced “brain circulation”.

Poverty and mobility of men and women

By 2025, current trends show that about 65% of 250 million immigrants will be in Europe. At the same time, poverty concentration in megacities will be the main source of social destabilisation. Obesity prevalence in EU is expected to reach 20% by 2020 if there is no intervention. Also, the level of diabetes will rise if there is no intervention. The developing countries will be under pressure on their health systems due to malnutrition and obesity which will coexist. As the global health improves, new health risks are emerging.

Scarcity of natural resources/ vulnerability of the planet

Energy levels in 2025 are expected to have increased by 50% based on 2005 levels. This is the period where oil production will be at the peak. EU will be importing about 70% of its energy needs. The article points out that over 50% of the oil reserves are located in countries which are very poor. At the same time, about 3 billion people will lack water. To tackle climate change, countries are required to emulate Europe example.


The current methods of production, consumption and availability of non-renewable resources in future will lead to tension. Tensions that will arise will have an impact on food consumption, access to raw materials, water, and energy. Due to the growing population, the number of those affected by malnutrition may increase by 2025. Reduction in agricultural land may lead to reduced production. Water needs will be on the rise as the world population increase. The quantities of water available may decrease due to climate change leading to strong tensions. Emerging countries will exert high pressure on the demand for raw materials. The energy will be a major source of tension by 2025 due to rising energy needs. The increasing economic interdependence, as well as differentiation, will lead to tensions based on general and simultaneous processes. Tension will also occur in the spatial proximity of accelerated urbanisation and existing cultural distance.

Major transitions

The paper concludes with the major transitions. This is through looking at the transitions aimed towards the multipolar world and global governance. It is expected that there will be a transition towards having a large integrated Europe. By 2025, world population will begin to stabilise, and its decline is expected by 2050. For EU to coordinate these transitions, they need a transition in policy making. This will lead to coordination between national and EU policies. To counter future challenges, the article calls for EU to consolidate and strengthen the European project and a dynamic integration of the project into the world.


European Commission, 2009. The world in 2025: rising Asia and socio-ecological transition. Office for Official Publ. of the European Communities.