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Can the Planet Sustain the Growing Population?

Can the Planet Sustain the Growing Population?

implex ,  17-Jan-11
As per the estimates made by the UN Population Division, by late 2011 the total global population will amount to an alarming figure of 7 billion. As per the estimates made by the UN demographers around 1.8 billion women globally are in the child bearing age. Although the population growth rate is slowing down, it is no where close to ending. By 2045 to 2050 the population is estimated to reach a figure of 9 billion. 

With food and energy resources depleting, it is quite likely that the number of people that need to be fed annually will reach 2 billion. Economists such as Malthus had predicted that natural measures such as famines, droughts and disease would keep a check on the growing population. According to him the rate of population growth is far higher than food production. However, sometime later he was proved wrong as the developed nations managed to grow crops such as corn and potato in bulk. The green revolution, use chemical fertilizers, irrigation facilities has further aided mass production of food. Although nourishment levels of people on the planet are low, starvation as such has declined. 

With the invention of vaccinations and medical progress, the average life expectancy has risen significantly. Since 1952, in India the life expectancy has risen from 38 to 64 years and in China from 41 to 73. Also, the average birth rate per woman has shifted from 6 to 2.1 children since 18th century Europe or early 20th century Asia. Population explosion occurs as the birth rates tries to balance itself with the death rate. This nature of evolution is referred to as ‘Demographic Transition’.

With the decline in fertility rates across several cultures globally, the population growth rate is heading towards non explosion. However, there is also another side to this story as 2030 will observe the highest number of adolescents approaching their child bearing age. Such a scene has not been observed before. 

With the advent of modern contraceptives and sterilization practices and its practice in a given region, the level of birth rate has fallen. 

Population control will eventually be determined by the choices that people make and the ideas that come up in the future. 

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