Population of world ‘could grow to 15bn by 2100

November 30, 2011 • Daily Email Recap

Thanks to Jenny Goldie for this article.  See http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/22/population-world-15bn-2100

Population of world ‘could grow to 15bn by 2100’

Nearly 7 billion people now inhabit planet but projections that number will double this century have shocked academics

Paul Harris in New York

guardian.co.uk, Saturday 22 October 2011 17.25 EDT

The United Nations will warn this week that the world’s population could more than double to 15 billion by the end of this century, putting a catastrophic strain on the planet’s resources unless urgent action is taken to curb growth rates, the Observer can reveal.

That figure is likely to shock many experts as it is far higher than many current estimates. A previous UN estimate had expected the world to have more than 10 billion people by 2100; currently, there are nearly 7 billion.

The new figure is contained in a landmark study by the United Nations Population Fund (Unfpa) that will be released this week. The report –The State of World Population 2011 – is being compiled to mark the expected moment this month when somewhere on Earth a person will be born who will take the current world population over the 7 billion mark, and will be released simultaneously in cities across the globe.

Some experts reacted with shock to the figure. Roger Martin, chairman of Population Matters, which campaigns on population control, said that the Earth was entering a dangerous new phase. “Our planet is approaching a perfect storm of population growth, climate change and peak oil,” he said. “The planet is not actually sustaining 7 billion people.”

The Earth has now doubled in population since the 1960s, boosted by high birthrates in Africa, Asia and Latin America as the spread of medicine and better healthcare has seen the mortality rate for young children decline. This has easily offset the general decline in the birthrate of advanced countries. It has also been boosted by an increase in lifespans of people across the world.

To read the full article, please click here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/22/population-world-15bn-2100

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