As the world comes ever closer to a population of 7 billion, the risks are also nearing.
It has been all over the news since the beginning of 2011 that the population is soon to hit 7 billion, a record high. Scientists estimate that the current population of around 6.97 billion is about 6% of all the humans who have ever lived (106 billion).
Worldometers.com states that our current population is set to hit 7 billion on October 31st 2011, just a few days away.
With this milestone, there come numerous problems regarding overpopulation. What if families in densely-populated countries like Uganda don’t earn enough money to support multiple children? What if they run out of space to care for them? What if there are millions of children who haven’t been educated and can’t make their living? All of these issues face geographical experts, and they are worrying about what may happen with more and more people.
The United States Central Bureau have posted their estimates of each billion people, and how many years it took from the last. The first billion was reached in approximately 1804, more than 200 years ago. This then took 123 years until 2 billion in 1927. However, it shot up greatly from then, only 33 years until 3 billion in 1960 (that’s about when my mother was born !). Even faster in just 14 years to 4 billion, and 13 years to 5. Reaching it’s fastest, 12 years to hit 6 billion in 1999. This is expected to drop slower, taking 13 years again to hit 7 billion and 15 years for 8 billion.
China, the most populated country in the world, accounts for 19% of the world’s population at 1.3 billion. Here, the government have implemented a One Child policy, where families may only have one child. This has caused grandparents of 4 only having 2 children, who themselves only have 1 child. There are lots of older people not working, that need an heir to look after them in their retirement.
This is called an “ageing population”, where there are increasingly more elderly people in society. This is detrimental to a country’s economy, as pensions and healthcare costs are being drawn out of the treasury, without being replaced by income.
BBC News has released 7 different videos regarding the 7 billion population limit, and can be found here. It features citizens from different countries explaining their situation and how the growing population will affect them.
What do you think? Do you live in one of these overpopulated countries and are you suffering the effects? Have you noticed that your parents may have been a family of 4, and you are an only child? Leave your thoughts below!
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