Tag Archives | Population

World population will be around 15-25 billion in 2100 and will increase through 2200 because of African fertility, life extension and other technology


Via Next Big Future:

The United Nations (UN) recently released population projections based on data until 2012 and a Bayesian probabilistic methodology. Analysis of these data reveals that, contrary to previous literature, the world population is unlikely to stop growing this century. There is an 80% probability that world population, now 7.2 billion people, will increase to between 9.6 billion and 12.3 billion in 2100. This uncertainty is much smaller than the range from the traditional UN high and low variants. Much of the increase is expected to happen in Africa, in part due to higher fertility rates and a recent slowdown in the pace of fertility decline. Also, the ratio of working-age people to older people is likely to decline substantially in all countries, even those that currently have young populations.

There is only a 30% chance of population peaking by 2100. This is even without considering radical life extension or any other turnaround in human fertility.

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Biggest populations in 2050: Move over Russia and Mexico. Here comes Africa

most populous countries

Predictions for the future have a way of going off the rails, but with India’s population projected to surpass China’s by 2022, the Population Reference Bureau‘s prognosis may not be too far off. From CNN Money:

Three out of the top 10 most populous countries in 2050 will be in Africa, a new report shows.

Nigeria, currently the seventh most populous country in the world, will rise to the fourth spot by 2050, the Washington-based Population Reference Bureau said.

Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia will replace Russia and Mexico as countries No. 9 and No. 10.

The report sees many African countries rising in the ranks throughout the next three decades because of to high fertility rates and improved life expectancy. The data show that populations will more than double in 40, mostly African, countries.

The numbers also show that China, with 1.3 billion people now, will be leapfrogged by India as the most populous country in the world by 2022.

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How Did We Get to 7 Billion from 1 Billion People in Just 200 Years? (Video)

Via NPR:
It was just over two centuries ago that the global population was 1 billion — in 1804. But better medicine and improved agriculture resulted in higher life expectancy for children, dramatically increasing the world population, especially in the West. U.N. forecasts suggest the world population could hit a peak of 10.1 billion by 2100 before beginning to decline. But exact numbers are hard to come by — just small variations in fertility rates could mean a population of 15 billion by the end of the century.
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Mysterious Drop In Mosquito Numbers

Photo: Arthur Chapman (CC)

Photo: Arthur Chapman (CC)

Is this a good or a bad thing? Incidents of malaria are reduced, but there are less people to test treatment on. Via BBC News:

Malaria-carrying mosquitoes are disappearing in some parts of Africa, but scientists are unsure as to why.

Figures indicate controls such as anti-mosquito bed nets are having a significant impact on the incidence of malaria in some sub-Saharan countries.

But in Malaria Journal, researchers say mosquitoes are also disappearing from areas with few controls.

They are uncertain if mosquitoes are being eradicated or whether they will return with renewed vigour.

Data from countries such as Tanzania, Eritrea, Rwanda, Kenya and Zambia all indicate that the incidence of malaria is dropping fast.

[Continues at BBC News]

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Food Ark: Will Seed Banks Save Our Sources of Food?

“Experts estimate that we have lost more than half of the world’s food varieties over the past century”. Charles Siebert writes in National Geographic:

Svalbard Vault Mountain (Cutaway). Illustration: Global Crop Diversity Trust

Svalbard Vault Mountain (Cutaway). Illustration: Global Crop Diversity Trust

A crisis is looming: To feed our growing population, we’ll need to double food production. Yet crop yields aren’t increasing fast enough, and climate change and new diseases threaten the limited varieties we’ve come to depend on for food. Luckily we still have the seeds and breeds to ensure our future food supply — but we must take steps to save them.

Six miles outside the town of Decorah, Iowa, an 890-acre stretch of rolling fields and woods called Heritage Farm is letting its crops go to seed. It seems counterintuitive, but then everything about this farm stands in stark contrast to the surrounding acres of neatly rowed corn and soybean fields that typify modern agriculture. Heritage Farm is devoted to collecting rather than growing seeds.

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Woman Is Mayor And Only Resident Of Nebraska Town


Monowi, Nebraska. Population: 1.

Via Reuters:

Elsie Eiler is the most admired person in Monowi, Neb. She is also the smartest, wealthiest, best-looking and youngest.

“We probably have the record by going down in population 50 percent,” Eiler quipped. “I chose to stay here after my husband died. It’s home.”

“And the oldest,” she is quick to add.

When you are the only resident of a community, every title fits.

Eiler, 77, is the lone inhabitant of Monowi, a village in northeast Nebraska. That is unique, according to new 2010 U.S. Census data, which indicates Monowi to be the only incorporated town, village or city in the country with only one resident.

Monowi had two people in 2000, the census showed, but the other one was Eiler’s husband, Rudy, and he died in 2004.

[Continues at Reuters]

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India’s Population Reaches 1.21 Billion

800px-ATP_conferenceThe world's population has had a rapid increase in the last decade, but India takes the cake. With the 2011 census updated, India's population reaches 1.21 billion. BBC reports:

India's population has grown by 181 million people over the past decade to 1.21bn, according to the 2011 census. More people now live in India than in the United States, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan and Bangladesh combined. India is on course to overtake China as the world's most populous nation by 2030, but its growth rate is falling, figures show. China has 1.3bn people. The census also reveals a continuing preference for boys - India's sex ratio is at its worst since independence. Female foeticide remains common in India, although sex-selective abortion based on ultraso
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Humans Were Once an Endangered Species

Lin Edwards writes on PhysOrg:

EndangeredHumansScientists from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City in the U.S. have calculated that 1.2 million years ago, at a time when our ancestors were spreading through Africa, Europe and Asia, there were probably only around 18,500 individuals capable of breeding (and no more than 26,000). This made them an endangered species with a smaller population than today’s species such as gorillas (approximately 25,000 breeding individuals) and chimpanzees (an estimated 21,000). They remained an endangered species for around one million years.

Modern humans are known to have less genetic variation than other living primates, even though our current population is many orders of magnitude greater. Researchers studying specific genetic lineages have proposed a number of explanations for this, such as recent “bottlenecks”, which are events in which a significant proportion of the population is killed or prevented from reproducing. One such event was the Toba super-volcano in Indonesia that erupted around 70,000 years ago, triggering a nuclear winter.

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Gingers (redheads) extinct in 100 years

Via news.com.au:

Redheads are becoming rarer and could be extinct in 100 years, according to genetic scientists. The current National Geographic magazine reports that less than two per cent of the world’s population has natural red hair, created by a mutation in northern Europe thousands of years ago.

Global intermingling, which broadens the availability of possible partners, has reduced the chances of redheads meeting and producing little redheads of their own.

It takes only one red-haired parent to produce ginger-headed babies, but two redheads obviously create a much stronger possibility.

If the gingers really want to save themselves they should move to Scotland. An estimated 40 per cent of Scots carry the red gene and 13 per cent actually have red hair.

Some experts say that redheads could be gone as early as 2060, but others say the gene can be dormant for generations before returning. National Geographic says the gene at first had the beneficial effect of increasing the body’s ability to make vitamin D from sunlight.

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