Theworld's population is expected to soar to 9.2 billion by 2050, largely because AIDS is not expected to kill as many people as initially feared in the developing world,according to a new United Nations report.

The world's population isnow at6.7 billion.

The UN, which releasedits report Tuesday, expects Canada's population will jump to 43 million by 2050. According to the most recent census figures, released Tuesday, it'sat 32 million.

The world's population is getting a boost from the rising use of anti-retroviral AIDS drugs and a downward prevalence of AIDS in some countries, said Hania Zlotnik, director of the UN's population division.

Two years ago, when the UN last produced a population report,the UNexpected to see 32 million more AIDS deaths by 2050 than itdoesnow.

In that previous report, the total world population was only expected to be 9.1 billion by 2050, Zlotnik said.

The report released Tuesday isbased on 2006 research. Itsays most population growth will take place in less developed countries.

Poor nation populations could triple

The populations of poor countries like Afghanistan, Burundi, Congo, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Niger, East Timor and Uganda are projected to at least triple by mid-century.

By contrast, the total population of richer countries is expected to remain largely unchanged. The report said therich country numbers would actually have been lower, if it weren't for the migration from poor countries to rich countries, which adds to richcountries' populations.

Forty-sixcountries—including Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea and most of the former Soviet republics— are expected to lose population by mid-century.

Zlotnik saidseveral regions willhave much older populations by 2050.

"Europe is the only region at this moment where the number of people aged 60 and over has already surpassed the number of children," she said.

"We expect that Asia and Latin America will have by 2050 an age distribution that is very similar to the one that Europe has today."

With files from the Associated Press