Global Population Growth

Can the planet support another 4 billion people?


The world's population, now about 7.2 billion people, could rise to nearly 11 billion or more by 2100, according to some estimates, with nearly all the growth in developing countries. Agricultural specialists worry about how the planet would feed 4 billion more people, and environmentalists say humans already are consuming natural resources at unsustainable rates. Expanding populations also create social pressure, especially in fast-growing nations that cannot generate enough jobs for their citizens. In some regions, notably sub-Saharan Africa, population growth is slowing progress toward key development goals, such as expanding education and improving maternal and child health. To address these challenges, wealthy donors are stepping up efforts to provide family planning to all who want it, and many advocates are calling for greater focus ...

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