31 October 2011

7 Billion

There are about 7 billion people alive in the world today.  The current growth rate is the global population is about 1.1%, down from more than 2% in the 1960s.  At the current growth rate, the world's population would double by about the year 2075, but the declining population growth rate means that this doubling of populaton will probably never happen and, at least, will happen much later than then.  Current estimates for peak world population are in the vicinity of 10-12 billion people.

I am not a population alarmist.  Population growth is an issue that economic development seems to tame almost universally and automatically even without dramatic government intervention.  People who can know with great certainty that their children will live to adulthood and that they will be able to provide for themselves in their old age have far fewer children.

If you are worried about population growth, promote economic development.

1 comment:

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

Razib has an animated chart that shows the dynamics well.