7 Billion and Counting
On October 31, 2011, the world's population reached 7 billion people. What does this mean?
Question: If standing upright, could you fit the 7 billion people in the state of Washington?
In an Op-Ed piece (10/24/2011) in the New York Times, Joel Cohen, a mathematical biologist, raised many additional concerns:
Staggering staistics....that need action, not just discussion.
- The world's population is expected to be 8 billion by 2025, 9 billion by 2043, and 10 billion by 2083
- Nearly half the world lives on $2 a day, or less
- More than 800 million people live in slums
- About 900 million people suffer chronic undernourishment
- In Africa and South Asia, more than half of the children are height-stunted due to chronic hunger
- Though world produces 2.3 billion metric tons of grain (enough to feed 9-11 billion people), only 46% of the grain is eatened by humans (34% is eaten by domestic animals and 19% is used for fuels, plastics, etc.)
- More than 1 billion people live without adequate, renewable supplies of fresh water
- Of the 208 million pregnancies in 2008, 86 million were unintended
- In developing companies, the urban population is expected to grow by 1 million people every 5 days through 2030
- By 2070, elderly people will outnumber children under age 15