Population Growth

Population Growth

Population Change Predictions

Despite a development boom that has exponentially increased the global human population over the past few decades, a study released today predicts that it will peak at 9 billion by the year 2070 and then begin to decline. "People thought for a long time that we would breed ourselves out of existence," says Warren Sanderson, a professor of economics and history at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and co-author of the study appearing in this week's Nature (Drevitch, 2009).

Study Highlights End to Population Growth

This study is the first to pinpoint an end to the burgeoning population. The researchers estimate that there is an 85 percent probability that the population will decline to around 8.4 billion by the year 2100. The current world population is numbered at 6.1 billion. Previous demographic studies by the United Nations had predicted higher populations of 9.32 billion by the year 2050, with no decline in growth. Part of the reason for the different predictions is that the new study anticipates a decrease in the number of children born to each woman.

Uncertainties in Population Projections: Population, like the weather, is difficult to predict because it is subject to numerous independent factors, including disease, wars, and social trends.

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