Friday, September 19, 2014

World Population Unlikely to Stabilise

Damien Carrington reports in The Guardian today that an international research team led by Professor Adrian Raftery at the University of Washington overturns 20 years of thinking that the world’s population would peak at 9 billion at around 2050.

The research concludes that there is a 70% chance that the number of people on the planet will rise continuously from the 7 billion it is now to 11 billion by 2100.

Much of this rise will occur in Africa, with population rocketing from 1 billion today to over 3.5 billion by 2100. The predicted fall in fertility rates in Africa has not happened. In Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, the birthrate has stalled, with the average woman bearing six children. Nigeria’s population is expected to soar from 200 million today to 900 million by 2100.

Professor Raftery says that “The previous projections said this problem was going to go away so it took the focus off the population issue… There is now a strong argument that population should return to the top of the international agenda. Population is the driver of just about everything else and rapid population growth can exacerbate all kinds of challenges”. He says that lack of healthcare, poverty, pollution and rising unrest and crime are all problems linked to booming populations.

The full Guardian report can be found at:


  1. Animals are being squeezed to extinction and natural habitats such as forests and grasslands are being encroached by humans, due to exponential population growth. The UN should be ensuring family planning is available world wide, and any foreign aid should be linked only to countries who have fertility levels that are sustainable. Overpopulation will cause climate change, migration, species extinction, food shortages, and environmental degradation. Global population rates are dangerously unsustainable, and not enough is being done. The topic is rarely discusses, and it's assume that the planet is limitless instead of finite.

  2. "Much of this rise (in population) will occur in Africa, with population rocketing from 1 billion today to over 3.5 billion by 2100". Surely there's a selfish, and self-destructive, human gene that ultimately will cause nations with high population growth to implode, and naturally shrink from starvation, disease and disaster? Instead of addressing the culture of big families, and tribes, lack of family planning and other sacred "cows", the UN expects developed nations to take on the load by accepting large chunks of third world immigration! The overpopulation problem is being ignored by world leaders, and the planet is expected to accommodate it through economic development - and dangerously ignore the Earth's limits.