According to the United Nations State of World Population Report 2011, the world’s population will reach seven billion people by October 31 and could surpass 10 billion by 2083 pushing us to face new challenges and implications.
The report titled People and Possibilities in a World of 7 Billion, has surprised more than one analysts since previous UN estimates only predicted the a global population of 10 billion by 2100. The report marks the moment the world’s population will reach 7 billion and explains that “the milestone of seven billion is marked by key achievements, sets back and paradoxes.”
A world of 7 billion people poses many challenges â€“ and countless opportunities to make a positive difference. 7 Billion Actions, established by the United Nations Population Fund, inspires change that will make a difference by highlighting positive action by individuals and organizations around the world.
“With planning and the right investments in people now … our world of 7 billion can have thriving, sustainable cities, productive labor forces that can fuel economic growth, youth populations that contribute to the well-being of economies and societies, and a generation of older people who are healthy and actively engaged in the social and economic affairs of their communities,” the United Nations Population Fund, said in a new report.
Experts have said the latest figures suggest the world could enter a potentially dangerous phase as a mix of population growth, climate change and natural resources shortages are expected to create sustainability problems.
In the last 50 years, the Earth has doubled in population, following high birth rates in Africa, Asia and South America, while the spread of medicine and healthcare improvements have seen child mortality fall.
The reports states that average life expectancy worldwide has increased by 20 years since 1950, from 48 to 69 years and the number of people aged over 60 is expected to reach 2.4 billion by 2050.
Also, more than 1.2 billion people are aged 10 to 19 years old, showing that globally people are at the same time “younger and older than ever before.” On the other hand, the world fertility rate has declined by nearly half in 50 years.
A U.N. report published in May predicts a global population of 10 billion by 2050, and more than 15 billion by the end of this century.Â It was only 13 years ago that the population was at 6 billion, the United Nations says.
“With only a small variation in fertility, particularly in the more populous countries, the total could be higher: 10.6 billion people could be living on Earth by 2050 and more than 15 billion in 2100,” says the Population Division of the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs
While the global population is increasing, the report highlights the dangers of climate change, which it says risk derailing anti-poverty efforts in various ways as consequences could include more drought, floods or storms.
Such events could lead to another 25 million of malnourished children by 2050, mostly in South Asia, the document states. Other challenges include the extinction of some 17000 plants and animal species, caused by habitat losses, invasive species, high consumption rates, pollution and climate change.
While better familial planning has been advanced by experts as the best way to limit and control the world’s population, campaigners have warned they often come across cultural and religious factors that hamper efforts to improve women’ access to education and efforts to reduce the size of families, in certain parts of the world. [via National Geographic]