Seven billion people — maybe


With more than two babies born every second, the arms on the world population clocks are whirling round so fast that no one really knows how many people there are on Earth. The UN Population Division, which calls itself the “Gold Standard” for setting the figure, says the world’s population will hit seven billion on Monday, but it admits the date is symbolic.
“No one can know this,” it says on its website. And there are plenty of experts who do not agree. The US government Census Bureau’s world population clock says the figure will not be reached until April next year. The private Population Reference Bureau, also based in Washington, says the magic seven billion was passed weeks ago. The International Institute for Applied System Analysis estimates that the world population will not reach seven billion until sometime between July next year and January 2013.
The UN forecasts have a margin of error of at least one percent, the population division says. Even if they are one percent off, the magic figure could have been reached six months ago, or it could take another six months. Because of the “inevitable inaccuracies in all demographic statistics,” UN experts say it is safer to estimate that the figure could have been reached one year ago, or could take another year to get there.
The UN relies on census figures from the 193 member nations and the population statisticians say that even the world’s best censuses have errors in the range of “at least” one-to-two percent.


  1. The arrival of the” seven billionth baby” has a different message.

    The good news is that the population bomb is being defused worldwide and many mothers are having fewer babies and half as many children as their mothers did. Malthus did not foresee that technology would reverse his law. More than sixty countries containing close to half the world’s population have fertility rates below national replacement levels. It is estimated that in about thirty years demographic giants like China,Indonesia, Mexico and India will in all probability reach below replacement levels. The major area of concern is cropland per person which shrinks with a rising population. Improving standards of public hygiene with good nutrition and education will eliminate a host of poor people’s diseases and reduce the disease burden . Overpopulation is a silent driver of environmental damage.. This is the challenge.



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