In addition to its unprecedented rapid rate
of demographic growth during the past 75 years, world population’s distribution across the planet has changed significantly over the past seven decades. The momentous global changes in humanity’s geographic distribution pose serious social, economic, political and environmental challenges and disquieting implications for the future.
What if current fertility rates of countries remain constant for the rest of the 21st century? Under this assumption, the populations of high fertility countries skyrocket while those of most low fertility countries plummet and world population nearly triples in size by the century’s close.
Two, four and eight billion people is the extraordinary doubling and redoubling of the world’s population that occurred in slightly less than a century. World population
, which had grown to 2 billion by 1927, doubled to 4 billion by 1974 and will reach 8 billion by around 2023.
Premarital sex, defined as voluntary sexual intercourse between unmarried persons, is increasing worldwide. While traditional values
, religious instructions
and the laws of some countries
continue to prescribe abstinence until marriage, the rapid societal changes that have occurred across all regions during the past half-century have resulted in the growing prevalence and acceptability of premarital sex.
Most of the world’s women have experienced sexual harassment. Based on available country surveys, it is estimated that no less than 75 percent of the world’s 2.7 billion women
aged 18 years and older, or at least 2 billion women, have been sexually harassed (Figure 1).
Recent elections around the world have clearly shown growing public support
for candidates and political parties advocating the deportation of migrants and stricter restrictions on immigration, including halting it altogether. At the same time, opposition, challenges
and resistance to deportations
and immigration restrictions
have become more widespread, visible and vocal.
Are humanoid robots or androids
a solution to declining and aging populations? Given the prospects of demographic decline and population aging coupled with growing opposition to immigration, countries
are increasingly turning to and investing
in advanced robotics and androids to address shrinking workforces and rising numbers of elderly.
While rapid population growth may be the defining feature of the 20th
century, with world population nearly quadrupling from 1.6 to 6.1 billion, the hallmark of the 21st
century is likely to be population aging.
Global food extremes of chronic undernourishment and obesity have brought about a bipolar world of hundreds of millions of underfed and overfed people. Of the world’s population of 7.5 billion the proportions suffering from chronic undernourishment
and those afflicted by obesity
are similar, approximately 11 percent or together about 1.6 billion people. However, as with most global averages, the levels of both chronic undernourishment and obesity vary enormously among regions and across and within countries.
A significant global demographic change having far-reaching consequences yet receiving scant attention is the rise of one-person households.
Growing numbers of men, women and even children in every major region of the world are joining international streams of unauthorized migration. This global movement of humanity’s desperate
is taking place despite walls, fences, barriers, guards, patrol ships, warnings and nativist political rhetoric. Governments of origin, transit and destination countries are struggling on how best to manage unauthorized migration flows.
Of the world’s 2.3 billion children 14 percent - or 320 million - are living in single-parent households, most often headed by single mothers. Those children aged 0 to 17 years and their single mothers and single fathers face special challenges, including economic hardships, social stigma and personal difficulties, that require society’s attention and assistance.
While the world’s population of 7.4 billion is growing at 1.1 percent per year – about half the peak level of the late 1960s – enormous differences in demographic growth among countries are increasingly evident and of mounting concern to countries and the international community.
It first happened in Italy in 1995. Five years later it happened in six additional countries, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Japan, Portugal and Spain. Today the total number of countries where it has occurred stands at 30, including most members of the European Union. In fifteen years that number is expected to nearly double and include Australia, Canada, China, Russia, South Korea and the United States (Table 1).
Regardless of whether they are called fragile, failed, or failing states, scores of countries around the globe are plagued by overwhelming problems with few solutions in sight. Moreover, the instability and dire straits of these countries are spilling across national borders, destabilizing neighboring countries and regions, while posing enormous challenges for international organizations and donors.
For decades “outsourcing” jobs from wealthy developed countries to low-wage developing countries has been a major strategy of many corporations, industries and businesses to increase profits by reducing labor costs and operating expenses.
The relationship challenges that the world’s 2 billion couples confront vary considerably by circumstances, including age, sex, education, income, marital status, family size, length of relationship, urban-rural residence, customs, religion and region of the world. Nevertheless, 10 major challenges among married and cohabiting couples may be identified across countries.
The number of deaths worldwide in 2015 was approximately 57 million. Those deaths represent 0.78 percent of the world’s population of 7.3 billion. In comparison, 140 million births occurred in 2015, resulting in a global population increase of 83 million people.
Pensionable retirement ages and government pension programs have been established for men and women in countries around the world. Nevertheless, retirement remains an unlikely option for most people.
Women are having fewer than two children on average in 83 countries, representing nearly half of the world’s population. And in some countries, such as Germany, Italy, Japan, Poland, Singapore, South Korea and Spain, average fertility levels are now closer to one child per woman than the replacement level of about two children (Figure 1).