Population in the world todayProbably the most pressing concern of the modern world — both environmentally and socially — is the escalating global population. The geometrical growth in numbers over the last century, when estimated, presents an ominous picture of massive, unsustainable growth and accompanying famines and health crises. Yet, to simply follow the current trend is naive, and informed estimates of population trends are increasingly predicting a less disastrous future.

The latest study shows an 85% chance that global population will peak before 2100, and predicts with 60% certainty that this peak will be less than 10 billion, compared with a population of 6 billion today. They even give an outside chance, 15%, that there will be fewer people living at the end of the century than are alive now.Their results are notable not just for the relatively low figures projected, but also for the rigorous analysis that accompanies them. Whereas the United Nation estimates present just four possible outcomes (constant, high, medium and low).

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The US Census Bureau includes specific chances of a particular scenario occurring on a specific date. This graphically illustrates the confidence (or otherwise) of predictions further into the future.To arrive at their conclusions, the team combined two forecasting techniques — ‘time series estimation, a statistical analysis based on known figures, and ‘expert judgment’, whereby key parameters are estimated taking into account foreseeable events such as disease, war and fertility trends. Apart from the lower total population figure estimated (8.8 billion by 2050, compared to 9.3 for the UN’s medium estimate, 2000 revision).

Population decline in developed nations is expected to accelerate, with the European part of the former USSR expected to lose 20% of it population by 2050. Such declines lead inevitably to ageing populations, and half of all people living in Japan at the end of the century are predicted to be over 60 years old. With these facts, there is no doubt in our minds that we are in for some trouble.

Over the next 50 years, the United States alone faces some population problems. What we need to do is keep the growth rate at stage 4, meaning we need to have birth and death rates low. Since the beginning of the US, we have continued to double our population in less and less time. In 1900, there were 1.

65 billion people in the US and it took 135 years to double that. In 1950, there were 2.5 billion people and that doubled in only eighty years. The last estimated doubling time was in 1997 when there were 5.

85 billion people and it only took forty-five years to double. The question is what will happen when population starts doubling in only two or three years? We have yet to figure out what will happen, but an estimated guess between all of us would conclude that by the time US population gets to this point, there will be so many people dying from incurable diseases that it really won’t matter. Already we have what is known as the AIDS virus which has spread world wide, and still with all the research that has been done, there is no cure. Its very scary the direction that America is headed in.

We have made a lot of economic progress but nothing can stop the unstoppable.Date Est. Population Doubling Time in Years8000 BC 5 Million 59,000 years1 AD 300 Million 1350 years1750 (beginning of Industrial Revolution) 790 Million 1250 years1800 980 Million 165 years1850 1.26 Billion 135 years1900 1.65 Billion 130 years1950 2.5 Billion 80 years1997 5.85 Billion 45 yearsBibliographyNational GeographicUS Census BureauEconomics Essays


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