Rapid Growth in Global Population
The rapid growth in global population is not caused by any single reason. The frequent appearance of the subject in different United Nations Conferences such as the Conference on Environment and Development and the International Conference on Population and Development reflects the complexity of the problem. Population growth is so intricately intertwined with international economic imbalances and environmental degradation that none of the problems can be solved individually without improvements of the others. Therefore, keeping the situation in mind, it is necessary to stabilize the population growth in order to achieve the common goal of human survival.
Through most of human history, the world's population remained below 300 million. Sometime after the year 1600, it slowly started turning upward. Accompanied with the improvements in agriculture and other technologies, and then with the Industrial Revolution, the world population grew faster than before through the eighteenth century. It took the earth eighteen centuries to reach the first one billion inhabitants. The population increase continued into the twentieth century at a much faster pace, and since the end of World War II, the earth has been experiencing the steepest population growth in human history. Today the earth holds about 5.7 billion people. According to United Nations' predictions, by 2050, the world will probably have at least 7.9 billion by the "low variant" projection and 9.8 billion by the "mid-range" projection; and the largest figure predicts the population will grow to be 12 billion. More than 90 percent of this projected growth will occur in developing countries. South Asia, which includes India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Iran, will have the largest numerical increase, from 1.2 billion today to 1.5 billion people by the end of the century. Africa will experience the greatest percentage increase–38 percent–from 650 million today to 900 million by the year 2000. This population growth matters because it has enormous impact on human life. The more people the world has, the more natural resources the earth has to supply. In just 20 years, the world will need to feed a population 40 percent larger than today's. Some experts also estimate that around two-thirds of recent tropical deforestation can be related to the population growth, largely through its impact on the demand for more agricultural land for food production. Furthermore, the tropical deforestation is known to be one of the major causes of greenhouse effects which also have significant affects on human life. Although nobody has come out with an estimate of the exact limit of the earth's life supporting capacity, there is an increasing concern that the world's population will exceed the earth's carrying capacity sometime in the future. In order to achieve early population stabilization, the United Nations International Conference on Population and Development was first held in Bucharest, Romania in 1974. At the conference, the issue of how to slow the population growth was divided into two sides by developed nations and developing nations. Developed nations argued that the only way developing countries could get runaway population growth under control would be to institute family-planning programs. The developing nations responded that little could be done about population until economic and social conditions were improved. When the second International Conference on Population and Development was held in Mexico City in 1984, most developing nations came to understand the need of family-planning to solve the population problem. When Cairo hosted the third Population Conference in 1994, participating nations endorsed a new strategy for stabilizing the world's population, mainly by giving women more control over their lives. The Conference also adopted the final draft of the World Population Plan of Action,...
References: Human population growth rate[edit source | editbeta]
Annual population growth rate in percent, as listed in the CIA World Factbook (2011 estimate).
Growth rate of world population (1950–2050)
Population of the world from 10,000 BCE to 2000 CE (logarithmic scale)
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