20 Sep '11, 2pm

World population could just keep on expanding, says expert

"Leading demographers, including those at the United Nations and the U.S. Census Bureau, are projecting that world population will peak at 9.5 billion to 10 billion later this century and then gradually decline as poorer countries develop. But what if those projections are too optimistic?" Carl Haub, who was senior demographer at the Population Reference Bureau for three decades, wants you to think the unthinkable. What if the vaunted "demographic transition " that's supposed to be an inevitable part of countries' economic and social development doesn't materialize? This transition has happened in all developed countries, leading birth rates to go to around two children per couple or less -- the point at which a country's population becomes stable or shrinks. If it happens worldwide, world population stabilizes. If it doesn't, well, can the earth really handle more than 10...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/list/2011-09-20-world-population-cou...

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