7 billion humans on Earth - II

GentThis is a low level revision of an  automatic translation of the original page in Catalan. I apologize for any errors it may contain.

Big numbers are hard to understand so it is not easy to grasp the meaning of 7 billion people. Maybe it's good to compare this figure with the years of the Earth: about 4.5 billion (1). This means that there are more people alive today than all the years that the Earth has existed.

What seems indisputable is that the world and humanity have difficulties managing this number of people. To live and live well or at least better, 7 billion people need resources that are not always renewable, space that has to be taken from species of animals and plants that then disappear, and unsustainable economic growth, without which there are no jobs.

It is true that the problem of the steady increase of the population seems to have been contained because the fertility rate has fallen almost worldwide, but not everywhere (2).

Number of children per womanData Source: World Bank's World Development Indicators

However, projections say that by the year 2050 there will be 9.5 billion people on Earth:

2011 Population Statistics 2050 Population Statistics

This means that there will be 2.5 billion more people in the world within 40 years. It is unlikely that the world can support this level of population: either the standard of living will be more equitable and then we will have a problem or resources or inequality will remain a problem and then we will have a social and economic explosion.

World population is an area where there has been significant progress and where the forecasts have been corrected downwards again and again. There are reasons to be moderately optimistic, but not to lower our guard: the world's population should be estabilized and probabli reduced. Each country to that reduces its population should be counted as a success. The first step is to remember it.

  1. Wikipedia, Age of the Earth, retrived on December, 29, 2011.
  2. Bernard Wasow, East Africa: Left Behind, theGlobalist, December 26, 2011

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