According to The Guardian, a report about to be released by the United Nations Population Fund will project a world population of 15 billion people by the end of this century. The report was triggered by the impending birth of the child that will bring the world’s current population to 7 billion.
Whether such a projection will turn out to be accurate is not knowable. Everything depends on the assumptions. Just seven months ago a U.N. news release projected for the same end date a world population of 10 billion people.
World population has doubled in the last half century. The increase has been largely in poorer countries, where improvements in medicine have substantially reduced the mortality rate of infants and young children. In more advanced countries such improvements have largely had the effect of increasing lifespan.
For example, while the world population as a whole has increased by 100 percent since 1960, the U.S. population has increased by “only” 71.5 percent (from 179 million to 307 million) during the same period, 64.8 percent if the generally accepted figure of 12 million illegals is omitted.
The report will predict dire consequences as a result of the projected population increase, but it should be noted it is in the nature of political organizations such as the UNFPA to predict dire consequences, which will result in more funding and perhaps more control over events. The almost inevitable next steps are a gathering of international representatives to hammer out agreed upon “solutions” to “the problem,” the endorsement by various countries of the resolutions, and the proposal of management of the ultimate process by the UNFPA.
Here are a couple of facts to put things in perspective:
* If everyone in the world had one square foot on which to stand the 7 billion would all fit comfortably in Jacksonville, Fla., with a couple of billion square feet left over.
* Given 1,000 square feet apiece, the world’s population would fit nicely in an area the size of Texas, which has in excess of 7 trillion square feet.
Now those are trivial facts in and of themselves, but what should be gained from them is that while some areas have population problems, the world itself does not, and the larger problem is not the number of people but resource management.