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.
The global population has now reached 7.3 billion. In the last 12 years, the world has added approximately one billion people, and in the next 15 years this is expected to occur again.
By 2050, we will be a world of nine billion people. Not only does this mean there’ll be two million more mouths to feed than there are at present, it also means these mouths will be consuming more – in the next 20 years, for instance, an estimated three billion people will enter the middle class, in addition to the 1.8 billion estimated to be within that income bracket today.
There's little argument about the basic facts: It's ugly (think strip malls and big box stores). It's not very convenient (hours spent behind the wheel to get to work). And it wreaks havoc on the natural environment (lost farmland and compromised watersheds).
As the international community marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, one question worthy of some reflection is: Is world population better or worse off demographically since the establishment of the U.N.?
Is below replacement level fertility the future for humanity? The answer to this seemingly simple question regarding human reproduction is not only of considerable demographic concern, but also has enormous social, economic and environmental consequences for the planet.
As the world marks the 25th
anniversary of the fall of the famous Berlin Wall leading to the reunification of the country and the end of the cold war, a little noted event occurred nearly two decades before the fall that ushered in a trend having profound consequences for the future of Germany as well as for Europe: German births declined below deaths.
Not far from the headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) in Ethiopia's capital city of Addis Ababa, a young woman named Bosena, 25, sits on the side of a busy road with a baby in her arms.
City and health authorities in the Solomon Islands, located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, are calling for effective and consistent urban waste management as they battle to control a serious outbreak of dengue fever, the world’s fastest spreading vector-borne viral disease, which was identified in the country in February.