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May 14th, 2011

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03:12 pm - Overpopulation - The Averted Crisis
From the impressively useful gapminder site comes information that according to the latest UN research, "world population continues to grow, but the number of children in the world has now reached its peak."

I've posted about this before, and the data continues to look excellent, especially since both India and China are well on their way to the mixture of rising standard of living and industrial economy that seems guaranteed to reduce population growth to (or more commonly) below replacement (as I discuss and provide links to here).

In any case, the population will continue to grow for another 40-60 years, but after that it should decline and the rate of growth will (as it has done for the last 40 years) continue to decline. IMHO, 9 billion people is too many, but that will be the maximum and then it's down from there.

Also, much (and eventually most) of the population growth will be in Africa, so the rest of the world will do even better. However, this also means that no matter how you slice the statistics, we have a world that's almost entirely doing much better (with the exceptions of a few isolated hell-holes like Pakistan and North Korea) and then we have Sub-Saharan Africa, which still suffers from a legacy of the worst of European colonialism.
Current Mood: hopefulhopeful

(5 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:May 15th, 2011 03:33 am (UTC)
Yay! This is great news indeed! Despite the efforts of some fundy wingnuts to deny access to contraceptives and sex ed, the American public is not buying it for the most part. Most people would prefer to be able to have sex without being stuck with 19 kids, the Duggars notwithstanding. Thankfully, the Quiverfull movement is not very popular, even with evangelicals.

Of course, a lot of right-wing panic over the decreased population growth is thinly disguised racism. They only flip out over decreased population growth in "white" regions, such as Europe.
[User Picture]
Date:May 15th, 2011 04:09 am (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:May 15th, 2011 09:36 pm (UTC)
9 billion has been revised upwards to 10 billion.

Also, maybe you meant to write Afghanistan rather than Pakistan? Pakistan is corrupt, has high illiteracy, infant mortality, and birth rates, and lots of poverty (but also a sizable middle class and really high rankings in the various happiness indexes), but I don't think it is worse than Burma or Afghanistan or Iraq or Tajikistan or a bunch of other Asian countries.
[User Picture]
Date:May 16th, 2011 05:18 pm (UTC)
Afghanistan has a tiny population. Pakistan has armies of orphans roaming the streets.
[User Picture]
Date:May 16th, 2011 05:18 pm (UTC)
I've gotten flak before for having so many kids, but I figured out years ago that, once a country modernizes, its replacement rate tends to head straight for about 1.8 per couple. Rapid population loss is more of a concern than growth... an aged population is economically weaker, and economic weakness leads pretty quickly to disruptions in education, conservation, and so forth. There is little question that in the long run, population will dip to a right-sized level. For good or ill, I think it has little bearing on the future survival of our species.

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