Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

World Population to Surpass 7 Billion in 2011; Explosive Population Growth Means Challenges for Developing Nations

In 2011, global population is expected to hit 7 billion. (Credit: © Feng Yu / Fotolia)

From the 28 July 2011 Science Daily article

Global population is expected to hit 7 billion later this year, up from 6 billion in 1999. Between now and 2050, an estimated 2.3 billion more people will be added — nearly as many as inhabited the planet as recently as 1950. New estimates from the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations also project that the population will reach 10.1 billion in 2100….

Population trends indicate a shift in the “demographic center of gravity” from more to less developed regions, Bloom writes. Already strained, many developing countries will likely face tremendous difficulties in supplying food, water, housing, and energy to their growing populations, with repercussions for health, security, and economic growth.

“The demographic picture is indeed complex, and poses some formidable challenges,” Bloom said. “Those challenges are not insurmountable, but we cannot deal with them by sticking our heads in the sand. We have to tackle some tough issues ranging from the unmet need for contraception among hundreds of millions of women and the huge knowledge-action gaps we see in the area of child survival, to the reform of retirement policy and the development of global immigration policy. It’s just plain irresponsible to sit by idly while humankind experiences full force the perils of demographic change.”…

Read the Science news article

Journal Reference:
David E. Bloom. 7 Billion and Counting. Science, 2011; 333 (6042): 562-569 DOI: 10.1126/science.1209290

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  • Challenges, Opportunities and Action in a World of 7 Billion (prweb.com)
  • Education — a key determinant of population growth and human well-being (Eureka alert)

    Education — a key determinant of population growth and human well-being

    Projections of future population trends that do not explicitly include education in their analysis may be flawed

    Laxenburg, Austria – 28 July 2011 — Future trends in global population growth could be significantly affected by improvements in both the quality and quantity of education, particularly female education. Projections of future population trends that do not explicitly include education in their analysis may be flawed, according to research published today in the journal Science (July 29 2011).

    The study uses a novel “multi-state” population modeling approach to incorporate education attainment level, along with age and sex. The integration of education in the analyses adds a “human quality” dimension to projections of fertility, mortality and migration. As education also affects health, economic growth, and democracy, these projections provide a more comprehensive picture of where, how, and under what conditions human well-being is increasing.

    The research reinforces earlier findings that the level of formal education achieved by women is, in most cases, the single most important determinant of population growth. More educated women generally have fewer children, better general health, and higher infant survival rates. Education also appears to be a more important determinant of child survival than household income and wealth. The study also found that if concerted efforts were made to fast track education, the global population could remain below 9 billion by 2050. Thus the global population outlook depends greatly on further progress in education……”

July 29, 2011 - Posted by | Health News Items | ,

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