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Growth

* Global population reached one billion people in 1800, 1.7 billion in 1900, and 5.9 billion in 1998.[1]

* The world population grew from 2.5 billion in 1950 to 7.4 billion in 2015:

Total World Population

[2]

* As of December 2018, the total world population stands at 7.5 billion,[3] an increase of 27% over the previous 20 years.[4]

Causes of Growth

* Over the course of human history, varying factors have affected global and local population sizes, either facilitating or restraining their growth. Examples include:

  • environmental conditions like climate, land availability, plants, and animal populations.
  • mankind’s transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture.
  • sexual taboos.
  • marriage trends.
  • breast-feeding durations.
  • abortion and infanticide.
  • the number of children borne by each woman.
  • the ages when people have children.
  • migration.
  • disease.
  • wars.
  • technological advances and other forms of human ingenuity.[5] [6]

* Population increases since the 1950s have been unprecedented. The primary cause of this is that people are living longer because of improvements in:

  • healthcare technologies and availability.
  • living standards.
  • sanitation.
  • nutrition.[7] [8] [9] [10]

* During the modern era, certain factors have restrained population growth, such as:

  • deaths caused by the global HIV/AIDS pandemic.
  • a decline in the average birth rate per woman.[11]

* Fertility (the average number of children per woman) is affected by:

  • biological factors, such as the length of time a woman breastfeeds, the frequency of sexual relations, and fetal mortality.
  • marital patterns, such as how old people are when they get married and the portion of the population that is unmarried.
  • the availability and acceptability of birth control.
  • abortion.
  • opportunity growth for women in education, wages and income.
  • whether couples want to have children or not, which can be affected by:
    • values of preservation and survival—that fertility must “compensate for mortality.”
    • the cost of raising children.
    • compulsory childhood schooling, which keeps children from working and contributing financially to the family.
    • the availability of old-age care from “institutional mechanisms” so that a person does not need to rely on children later in life.[12]

* In 1998, the Census Bureau reported that 96% of the world’s population increase was occurring in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.[13] In 2017, the United Nations projected that these same areas would account for most population increases through 2050.[14]


Demographic Transition

* Throughout human history, population changes in various areas and nations have generally followed an observable pattern called “demographic transition.” This involves five progressive stages of change:

  1. High birth rate, high death rate, and stable or slow population increase.
  2. High birth rate, rapidly declining death rate, and very rapid population increase.
  3. Declining birth rate, falling death rate (but more slowly than stage two), and slowing population increase.
  4. Low birth rate, low death rate, and falling and then stable population.
  5. Birth rate rising again, low death rate, and stable or slow population increase.[15]

* Because the final two stages of demographic transition have little-to-no population increases, this has prevented unending population growth in these areas. Evidence that demographic transition is occurring all over the world includes the following:

  • The portion of the world’s population living in high-fertility countries has declined.
  • The portion of the world’s population living in countries with fertility at or above the replacement level—2.1 births per women—has fallen.
  • The United Nations projects that “in 2025–2030, only a third of the world’s population will live in countries with fertility levels of at least 2.1 births per woman.”
  • Demographic transition is occurring in numerous countries regardless of the culture or religion of the population.[16] [17]

* Despite demographic transition, the United Nations projects that the global population will increase for a time due to “population momentum.” This phenomenon occurs because the portion of the population comprised of child-bearing women is large enough to cause population growth, even if they are having less babies.[18] [19]

Effects of Growth

* In 1798, Thomas Malthus proposed the theory that human population growth tends to outrun the production of goods needed to sustain people, because population grows geometrically, while production grows arithmetically. According to Malthus, this would create never-ending cycles of human “misery” marked by famines, material scarcity, plagues, and wars.[20] [21]

* Between 1820 and 2000, the populations of Great Britain, France, Germany, and the United States grew by a factor of 5.6, while production per person increased by 19 times.[22]

* Per the Encyclopedia Britannica, Malthus failed:

to anticipate the agricultural revolution, which caused food production to meet or exceed population growth and made prosperity possible for a larger number of people. For example, the price of wheat in the United States, adjusted for inflation, has fallen by about two-thirds in the last 200 years. Since 1950, the world’s per capita food production has increased by about 1 percent per year. The incidence of famine has diminished, with famines in the modern era typically caused by war or by destructive government policies, such as price controls on food. Malthus also failed to anticipate the widespread use of contraceptives that brought about a decline in the fertility rate.[23] [24]

* In modern times, various activists, scholars, media outlets, and government agencies have claimed that population growth is a “leading driver” of problems like “hunger, desertification, species depletion and a range of social maladies across the planet.”[25] [26] [27] [28] [29] [30] [31] [32]

* From 2000 to 2015, while global population increased by 20%,[33] the portion of people in the world who were undernourished decreased from 15% to 11%:

Global Prevalence of Undernourishment

[34]

* From 1992 to 2016, while global population increased by 36%,[35] the average number of calories needed to lift the undernourished people of the world out of that condition decreased from 172 to 88 calories:

Global Average Depth of Undernourishment for the Undernourished

[36]

* From 1982 to 2016, the global population increased by 62%.[37] Per a study of this era published by the journal Nature in 2018:

Here we analyze 35 years’ worth of satellite data and provide a comprehensive record of global land-change dynamics during the period 1982–2016. We show that—contrary to the prevailing view that forest area has declined globally—tree cover has increased by 2.24 million km2 (+7.1% relative to the 1982 level).[38]

* In 1977, Democratic President Jimmy Carter tasked the EPA, State Department, National Science Foundation, and several other federal agencies to produce a “study of the probable changes” to the “world’s population, natural resources, and environment” up through the year 2000. This effort involved hundreds of people, including “informal advisors” to the study representing the world’s leading environmental institutions.[39]

* In 1979, Carter’s team of scientists and other experts released their findings in “The Global 2000 Report to the President of the U.S.” It stated that under current polices, population trends, and continuing technological progress, “at least 500,000–600,000” species “will be extinguished during the next two decades.”[40] In and around the era covered by this projection:

  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature recorded 27 confirmed species extinctions during 1984–2004.[41]
  • A 2011 paper in the journal Diversity and Distributions reported there had been six confirmed extinctions of continental birds and three confirmed extinctions of continental mammals since the year 1500.[42]
  • A 2015 paper in the journal Science reported there had been “15 global extinctions of marine animal species in the past 514 years … and none in the past five decades.”[43]

* Per the academic book A Concise History of World Population:

  • “During the past 10,000 years the human race has managed to multiply by a factor of 1,000 and at the same time increase the per capita availability of resources.”
  • Over this period, the “diminishing returns” from fixed natural resources have been “more than compensated for by the increasing returns of human ingenuity and by the ever more favorable conditions created by demographic growth.”[44]

Footnotes

[1] Report: “World Population Profile: 1998.” U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, February 1999. <www.census.gov>

Page 1:

From the dawn of mankind to the turn of the nineteenth century world population grew to a total of one billion people. During the 1800s, human numbers increased at increasingly higher rates, reaching a total of about 1.7 billion people by 1900. World population has grown even more rapidly during the present century, with the greatest gains occurring in the post World War II period, and stands at over three times its size in 1900—some 5.9 billion people—today.

[2] Report: “World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision.” United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, June 21, 2017. <population.un.org>

File POP/1-1: “Total Population (Both Sexes Combined) by Region, Subregion and Country, Annually for 1950–2100 (Thousands), Estimates, 1950–2015” <population.un.org>

NOTE: An Excel file containing the data is available upon request.

[3] Webpage: “U.S. and World Population Clock.” U.S. Department of Commerce, United States Census Bureau. Accessed December 9, 2018 at <www.census.gov>

“World Population [=] 7,538,555,362”

[4] Calculated with data from:

a) Webpage: “U.S. and World Population Clock.” U.S. Department of Commerce, United States Census Bureau. Accessed December 9, 2018 at <www.census.gov>

“World Population = 7,538,555,362”

b) Report: “World Population Profile: 1998.” U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, February 1999. <www.census.gov>

Page 1: “World population … stands at … some 5.9 billion people … today.”

CALCULATION: (7,500,000,000 – 5,900,000,000) / 5,900,000,000 = 27%

[5] Book: A Concise History of World Population (6th edition). By Massimo Livi-Bacci. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 2017.

Pages 19–23:

Although the strategic space of growth is large, only a small portion of it can be permanently occupied by a population. Sustained decline is obviously incompatible with the survival of a human group, while sustained growth can in the long run be incompatible with the resources available. The mechanisms of growth, therefore, must continually adjust to environmental conditions (which we might call environmental friction), conditions with which they interact but which also present obstacles to growth, as attested to by the millennia during which the population growth rate has been very low.

… It is this subordination to the natural environment and the resources it provides [plants and animals] that constituted a check to population increase, a situation particularly evident for a hunting and gathering society. … [P]recipitation is the principal factor limiting both the resources available to hunters and gatherers and their numerical growth.

The second check relates to the incompatibility of very low population density (arctic and semi-desert areas, for example) with the survival of a stable population group. … In order to ensure a reasonable choice of partners and to survive catastrophic events, these groups must not be too small.

The Neolithic transition to stable cultivation of the land and the raising of livestock certainly represented a dramatic expansion of productive capacity. This transition, which many call a “revolution,” developed and spread slowly over millennia in a variety of ways and forms. The progress of cultivation techniques, from slash and burn to triannual rotations … the selection of better and better seeds; the domestication of new plants and animals; and the use of animal, air, and water power have all enormously increased the availability of food and energy.

Nonetheless, success in mastering the environment has always been dependent upon the availability of energy. … The environmental limits to demographic expansion were again shattered by the enormous increase in available energy that resulted from the industrial and technological revolution of the second half of the eighteenth century and the invention of efficient machines for the conversion of inanimate materials into energy.

World production of coal increased…. The dependency of energy availability on land availability [during the agricultural period] was again (and perhaps definitively) broken and the principal obstacle to the numerical growth of population removed.

Pages 33–35:

Periods of growth alternated with times of stagnation and decline. What were the causes?

In order to provide a theoretical picture, we may conceive demographic growth as taking place within two great systems of forces, those of constraint and those of choice. The forces of constraint include climate, disease, land, energy, food, space, and settlement patterns.

[T]he cultivation of previously uncultivated land, the development and spread of new technology, the proliferation of better styles of housing, and methods of disease control are not developed from one day to the next, but over long periods of time. In the short and medium term (and often in the long term as well) populations must adapt to and live with the forces of constraint.

The process of adaptation requires a degree of behavioral flexibility in order that population adjusts its size and rate of growth to the forces of constraint described above. These behavioral changes are partially automatic, partially socially determined, and partially the result of explicit choices.

The environment, then, imposes checks on growth by means of the forces of constraint. These checks can be relaxed by human action in the long run and their effect softened in the medium and short run. The mechanisms for reestablishing equilibrium are in part automatic, but for the most part are the product of choice (nuptiality, fertility, migration.)

Page 37:

The classic theory is based on a simple but convincing argument. Settlement and the beginning of agricultural cultivation and animal domestication permitted a more regular food supply and protected populations that lived off the fruits of the ecosystem from the nutritional stress associated with climatic instability and the changing of the seasons. The cultivation of wheat, barley, millet, corn, or rice—highly nutritional grains that are easily stored—greatly expanded the availability of food and helped to overcome periods of want. Health and survival improved, mortality declined, and the potential for growth increased and stabilized.

Pages 22–23:

During these three phases … population has increased by increments that become progressively smaller with the passage of time, as the limits of growth are approached. This outline is simply the application of that concept, common to both animal biology and Malthusian demography, according to which the growth of a species (gnat, mouse, human, or elephant) in a restricted environment varies inversely with its density. This comes to pass because the available resources are considered fixed and so population growth creates its own checks. For the human species, of course, the environment, and so the available resources, has never been fixed but continually expands due to innovation.

Page 33:

In the long term, demographic growth moves in tandem with the growth of available resources, the latter imposing an impassable limit on the former. These resources, of course, are not static, but expand in response to incessant human activity. New lands are settled and put to use; knowledge increases and new technology is developed.

Page 35:

The age of access to reproduction (marriage) and the proportion of individuals who enter into this state have for most of human history been the principal means of controlling growth. Prior to the diffusion in the eighteenth century of what has become the primary instrument of control—the voluntary limitation of births—a number of other components had an influence on the fertility of couples and newborn survival: sexual taboos, duration of breast-feeding, and the frequency of abortion and infanticide.… Finally, a form of adaptation to environment and resources that has been practiced by populations in every epoch and climate is migration, whether to escape an existing situation or to find a new one.

[6] Article: “Industrial Revolution.” Encyclopedia Britannica, July 20, 1998. Modified 10/9/18. <www.britannica.com>

Industrial Revolution, in modern history, the process of change from an agrarian and handicraft economy to one dominated by industry and machine manufacturing. This process began in Britain in the 18th century and from there spread to other parts of the world. …

The main features involved in the Industrial Revolution were technological, socioeconomic, and cultural. The technological changes included the following: (1) the use of new basic materials, chiefly iron and steel, (2) the use of new energy sources, including both fuels and motive power, such as coal, the steam engine, electricity, petroleum, and the internal-combustion engine, (3) the invention of new machines, such as the spinning jenny and the power loom that permitted increased production with a smaller expenditure of human energy, (4) a new organization of work known as the factory system, which entailed increased division of labour and specialization of function, (5) important developments in transportation and communication, including the steam locomotive, steamship, automobile, airplane, telegraph, and radio, and (6) the increasing application of science to industry. These technological changes made possible a tremendously increased use of natural resources and the mass production of manufactured goods.

There were also many new developments in nonindustrial spheres, including the following: (1) agricultural improvements that made possible the provision of food for a larger nonagricultural population, (2) economic changes that resulted in a wider distribution of wealth, the decline of land as a source of wealth in the face of rising industrial production, and increased international trade, (3) political changes reflecting the shift in economic power, as well as new state policies corresponding to the needs of an industrialized society, (4) sweeping social changes, including the growth of cities, the development of working-class movements, and the emergence of new patterns of authority, and (5) cultural transformations of a broad order. Workers acquired new and distinctive skills, and their relation to their tasks shifted; instead of being craftsmen working with hand tools, they became machine operators, subject to factory discipline. Finally, there was a psychological change: confidence in the ability to use resources and to master nature was heightened.

[7] Report: “World Population Profile: 1998.” U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, February 1999. <www.census.gov>

Page 3:

During this century we have witnessed a surge in human population unmatched in sheer magnitude during any previous period in human history. Since mid–century, mortality levels have plummeted in every world region, driving up rates of natural increase. In the early 1950s, over 150 of every 1,000 infants died before reaching their first birthdays. In 1998, over 60 percent of these children survive: Infant mortality has been reduced to 58 infant deaths per 1,000 live births worldwide. As a result of improvements in child survival, and of parallel but typically smaller decreases in adult mortality, global life expectancy at birth has increased from about 47 years in the early 1950s to 63 years in 1998.

People are not only dying less frequently at younger ages but are living longer, on average, after reaching the end of their economically productive years. Men and women are living about 2 years longer, on average, after reaching age 65 today than they did in the early 1950s. This increased longevity has added to global population growth and is now contributing to a shifting global age structure characterized by higher proportions of the elderly and higher ratios of elderly dependent to working-age populations.

Page 25:

Most national populations are enjoying a general reduction in mortality levels, continuing a trend in the post-World War II period linked to improvements in public health services, greater availability of drugs and the development of new vaccines and, in many countries, to improvements in standards of living. In the less developed countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America, the importance of infectious and parasitic diseases as principal causes of death has lessened, which has markedly cut the overall risk of dying in infancy and early childhood while also reducing mortality at all but the oldest adult ages.

In a number of less developed countries, concerted efforts to improve maternal health have been successful in reducing the risk of maternal death associated with childbearing and in improving women’s survivorship to the end of their reproductive years to levels comparable to or higher than those of men. At the same time, national mortality profiles have been affected by increased deaths attributable to cardiovascular disease and other degenerative diseases and, frequently, to greater incidence of accidents and violence.

[8] Report: “World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision.” United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, June 21, 2017. <population.un.org>

Page 9:

Significant gains in reducing mortality have been achieved in recent years. Globally, life expectancy at birth rose by about 4 years between 2000–2005 and 2010–2015, from 67 to 71 years. Despite these gains, large inequalities in life expectancy persist between poorer and richer areas of the world. Life expectancy in Africa stood at 60 years in 2010–2015, compared to 79 years in Northern America. Life expectancy now exceeds 80 years in some high‐income countries, whereas for several African countries it remains below 60 years. Globally, life expectancy is projected to rise to 77 years in 2045–2050, and eventually to 83 years in 2095–2100.

In some parts of the world, the gains in life expectancy at birth are primarily driven by improved survival at young ages, particularly between birth and age 5. Between 2000–2005 and 2010–2015, deaths among children under age 5 fell from an estimated 70 to 48 per 1,000 live births, or about 30 per cent in one decade. Absolute declines were especially large in Sub-Saharan Africa (from 141 to 95 per 1,000) and in the least developed countries (from 123 to 83 per 1,000).

Although differences in life expectancy and child mortality across regions are projected to persist in the future, such differences are expected to diminish somewhat in the coming decades.

[9] Article: “The Rapid Slowdown of Population Growth.” By Wolfgang Fengler. World Bank, September 9, 2014. <blogs.worldbank.org>

The neo-Malthusian assumption is that bigger populations will translate into greater disempowerment and deeper poverty. But that’s partly a “reverse causality fallacy,” because most humans have been disempowered and poor all along. In most of the world’s history, high rates of fertility coincided with widespread misery, but the causality probably ran the other way. People had many children because they were so poor. Moreover, the world population didn’t grow much until the early 20th century because mortality remained high. Only once people became better off, when improvements in health, sanitation and nutrition were made available to a larger part of society, did world’s population start to rise rapidly. This was the beginning of our journey from 1 billion to 10 billion people, a threshold we are expected to reach by 2060.

[10] Report: “Global Population Profile: 2002.” U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, March 2004. <www.census.gov>

Page 7:

A profile of global population at the dawn of the 21st century entails an exploration of some remarkable phenomena. At midyear 2002, the size of global population was about 6.2 billion people. During 2002, the globe experienced a net increase of approximately 74 million people. This growth is due, in part, to an average level of global fertility that has couples producing more children than are needed to replace them despite precipitous fertility declines in recent years. A more important determinant of this growth, however, is the age–sex composition of the population that has a large number of women in their childbearing years relative to the size of the rest of the population. Finally, although mortality on a global level has also fallen, the anticipated effects of the HIV/AIDS pandemic are of serious concern to the populations of numerous countries. Together, these trends create a composite profile of global population that is worthy of consideration.

Page 3:

A little more than 4 years ago, in 1999, global population surpassed 6 billion. At midyear 2002, it stood at 6.2 billion and just over two people were being added each second. As rapid as this may seem, the pace at which global population was growing had already peaked more than a decade earlier. In absolute terms, approximately 74 million people were added to the world’s population in 2002 compared to a high of 87 million in 1989–90. Similarly, the annual average growth rate was approximately 1.2 percent in 2002, down from a high of 2.2 percent in 1963–64. It is expected that this slowdown in population growth will continue into the foreseeable future.

The slowdown in the growth of the world’s population can be traced primarily to declines in fertility. In 2002, the world’s women, on average, were giving birth to 2.6 children over their lifetime. This was less than one-half of a child more than the level needed to assure the replacement of the population. Although fertility rates in some parts of the world are expected to remain above replacement level for quite some time (e.g., in SubSaharan Africa), Census Bureau projections suggest that the level of fertility for the world as a whole will drop below replacement level before 2050.

[11] Report: “World Population Profile: 1998.” U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, February 1999. <www.census.gov>

Page 3:

Two demographic events have occurred in the second half of the twentieth century that have softened the surge in human numbers. The first is the progressive decline in fertility levels that has occurred, particularly in the world’s developing regions, since the early 1960s. Over 6 children, on average, were born to a woman living in a less developed country in the early 1950s. As we near the end of the present decade, this figure has been cut nearly in half. A typical woman living in a developing nation today has just over 3 births, on average. The second event is the emergence of the global HIV/AIDS pandemic, which has raised mortality and slowed growth in every world region, but with the greatest impacts in a number of Sub-Saharan African, Asian and Latin American nations.

[12] Book: A Concise History of World Population (6th edition). By Massimo Livi-Bacci. John Wiley & Sons, 2017.

Pages 181–190:

[T]he principle components of human fertility … the average number of children per woman (TFR) is determined by a combination of factors, predominantly biological, which determine natural fertility (birth intervals linked to the duration of breast-feeding, waiting time linked primarily to the frequency of sexual relations, fetal mortality); by marital patterns (age at marriage and percentage unmarried); and by the level of birth control.

… the “initial” fertility level of the poor countries—over six children per woman—was considerably higher than that of the West prior to the demographic transition (less than five). This is due primarily to higher levels of nuptiality: poor-country age at marriage (or the age at which a stable reproductive union is established) has traditionally been low, with almost no one remaining unmarried, unlike the situation in the West…. The situation is in rapid motion, although with unequal speed, and the age of women at first union is increasing rapidly whenever women’s prerogatives are reinforced in terms of education, wages and income, less discrimination, and less inequality within and outside the family.

The decisive check to fertility … is its voluntary control.

[E]conomic development as approximated by per capita GDP has been accompanied by very different fertility levels.

Confronted with the rapid growth rates of poor populations in recent decades, scholars and social workers have debated at length the causes of high fertility and the factors that might bring about its decline, the prerequisite to moderate growth. [I]ncreased age at marriage and, above all, the spread of birth control are the instruments of fertility decline. However, in order for decline to occur, a change in the reproductive plans of couples is necessary. We must therefore understand what determines these plans and what can be done to change them. To borrow the economist’s terminology we must understand what determines the “demand” for children on the part of parents—still high in the poor countries—and what the factors are that might change it.

In the first place, we may take for granted that preservation and survival (of the individual, the family group, or the collectivity to which they belong) are innate values of the human species, just as they are for other animal species. Fertility therefore must compensate for mortality; when the latter is high, the former must be so as well. From this point of view, five or six children per woman are compatible with normal pretransition mortality levels. … As stated above, mortality decline is a necessary prerequisite to fertility decline.

The increasing “relative cost” of child rearing also appears to be a factor in fertility decline. This increase may, for example, come about as the result of expanded female education, so that women are less willing to give up the possibility of wage-earning employment in favor of housework and raising children. Other factors might include compulsory childhood schooling, which delays the beginning of a child’s work life, or a general increase in well-being and the attendant requirements for greater investments in children. The creation of institutional mechanisms of social protection reduces the need of aging parents for support from their children, and so another incentive to high fertility is undermined. Other elements that tend to hasten fertility decline include the elimination of legislative obstacles to birth control, a policy actively supporting family planning, the spread of contraceptive knowledge and techniques, and the fact they are affordable and psychologically acceptable.

No one aspect will effect change, and each country will have to find the appropriate mix.

[One view for reducing fertility] focuses on “demand,” where demand refers to the children actively wanted by parents. Simply put, the theory states that fertility is driven by the desires of women or couples. Populations with high fertility, then, also have a high demand for children…. The level of fertility, then, is dictated by motivations, expectations, and desires. If these change, so will fertility.

To sum up: (1) fertility is driven by motivations and desires; (2) contraception is a necessary technical instrument for controlling fertility, but its availability—other factors being equal—has little impact on fertility and does not reduce unwanted fertility; (3) policies directed to lower fertility must be “demand-oriented,” trying to influence the factors that determine the propensities, desires, and motivations of couples.

[13] Report: “World Population Profile: 1998.” U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, February 1999. <www.census.gov>

Page 10:

Ninety-six percent of world population increase occurs in the developing regions of Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Population growth varies from one group of countries to another as a result of differences in initial population size and differences in growth rates. … [T]he world’s less developed countries (LDCs) constituted more than two-thirds of world population in 1950, and LDC growth rates have been much higher than those of the world’s more developed countries (MDCs) for the past 50 years. As a result, most of the net addition to growth over the past five decades has taken place in the world’s less affluent nations.

The population of LDCs has grown from about 1.7 billion persons in 1950 to 4.8 billion persons today, at growth rates that have been at or above 2 percent for much of this period. While the rate of population growth in the world’s less developed regions has fallen since the 1960s and is projected to continue to decline into the next century, LDC population growth rates are still likely to remain above 1 percent for at least the next 25 years.

More developed countries, in contrast, have contributed much smaller numbers to global population increase during the post-World War II period as a result of an initially smaller base and growth rates falling from about 1.2 percent per year in the 1950s to about 0.3 percent in the 1990s. The combined population of the world’s MDCs has grown about 50 percent over the past 50 years, from about 800 million persons in 1950 to about 1.2 billion persons in 1998….

These differentials in LDC and MDC growth patterns are expected to continue over the course of the next few decades.

Page 11:

Growth rates in the remaining countries of the world, a group that includes the United States, have been slowly declining since the early 1960s. These countries are generally considered to have completed their demographic transitions to low birth and death rates. The trend in growth rates in this group of countries reflects continuing decreases in mortality, at older ages in particular, and an offsetting general trend in favor of smaller family sizes.

[14] Report: “World Population Prospects: 2017 Revision.” United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, June 21, 2017. <population.un.org>

Page 4:

Based on the medium-variant projection, the world’s population is expected to increase by 2.2 billion people between 2017 and 2050, reaching 9.8 billion people in 2050. It is expected that half of the population growth will occur in Africa. Asia is expected to be the second largest contributor to this future growth, adding just over 750 million people during the same span. Africa and Asia will be followed by Latin America and the Caribbean, Northern America and Oceania, where growth is projected to be much more modest. Europe is the only region projected to have a smaller population in 2050 than in 2017. Beyond 2050, Africa will be the main contributor to global population growth.

[15] Webpage: “World Population Growth.” By Max Roser and Esteban Ortiz-Ospina. Our World In Data, 2013. Updated 4/2017. <ourworldindata.org>

The model explains the changing size of the total population as driven by the birth and the death rate of the population. It is a beautiful simple model that describes the pattern that we observe in countries around the world and is one of the great insights of demography.

The five stages of the transition are described below and are illustrated in the graph that follows:

• Stage 1: In the long time before modern population growth the birth rate is high, but since the death rate is also high we observe no population growth. This describes the reality through most of our history. Societies around the world remained in stage 1 for millennia.

• Stage 2: Then in the second phase the health slowly starts to improve and the death rate is dropping. Since the health of the population has already improved, but fertility still remains as high as before, this is the stage of the transition at which the population increases rapidly. Families do not yet adapt their fertility to the low mortality and have many children.
 

Historically it is the exceptional time at which the extended family with many children is common.

• Stage 3: This is when fertility declines as a result of the social changes: Parents realise that as progress kick in the mortality of children is not as high as it once was and they therefore opt for fewer births, the economy is undergoing structural changes that makes children less economically valuable, and women are empowered socially and within partnerships. The fertility rate is declining steeply.

• Stage 4: The population growth comes to an end and in stage 4 as the birth rate catches up with the low mortality rate.

• Stage 5: The demographic transition describes changes over the course of socio-economic modernization. What happens at a very high level of development is still not a settled question since only few societies have reached this stage. But we do have some good evidence—which we review in the entry on fertility here—that at very high levels of development fertility is rising again. Not to the very levels of the pre-modern times, but to a fertility rate around 2. As a consequence of this the natural population growth rate will be at 0% or possibly slightly above.

Demographic Transition Stages

[16] Article: “Population Facts: The End of High Fertility Is Near.” United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Facts, October 2017. <population.un.org>

Page 1:

In recent decades, developing countries around the world have been undergoing a demographic transition, characterized by increasing levels of life expectancy at birth and declining levels of lifetime fertility. Many of these countries are now reaching levels of mortality and fertility that are similar to those seen in the more developed countries.

The total fertility rate for the world as a whole fell from around 5 live births per woman in 1950–1955 to 2.5 births in 2010–2015. As a result of this global transition, an increasing share of the world’s population now lives in countries where total fertility has fallen below the replacement level of approximately 2.1 live births per woman over a lifetime; at this level of fertility, each generation of parents exactly replaces itself with an equivalent number of children who survive to adulthood, ensuring a long–term growth rate of zero.

Conversely, a relatively small proportion of the world’s population now lives in countries with high levels of fertility—conventionally defined as more than 5 live births per woman. Given the projected future course of fertility, it is expected that this proportion will continue to decrease. Thus, the end of high fertility is near and should become a reality within the next decade or so, according to the results of the 2017 Revision of the World Population Prospects.

… In 1975–1980, close to a quarter of the world’s population lived in countries with high levels of fertility … Twenty years later, in 1995–2000, the share of the global population that lived in high-fertility countries had fallen to 11 per cent. In 2010–2015, 8 per cent of the global population lived in countries where women were having, on average, more than 5 births over a lifetime. Starting in 2025–2030, it is expected that less than 1 per cent of the world’s population will live in countries with such high levels of fertility.

Page 2:

In the period after 1975–1980, … there were also a number of countries where fertility fell from intermediate levels to below the replacement level. As a result, between 1975–1980 and 1995–2000, the share of the global population living in countries with intermediate levels of fertility declined from 56 to 45 per cent….

Between 1995–2000 and 2010–2015, the overall decline of fertility was slower, and therefore the distribution of countries in each fertility group changed only slightly. In 2010–2015, the share of the global population living in countries with intermediate levels of fertility was equivalent, at 46 per cent, to the share living in countries where fertility was below the replacement level…. It is projected that in 2025–2030, only a third of the world’s population will live in countries with fertility levels of at least 2.1 births per woman.

In 1975–1980, only 21 per cent of the global population was living in countries where fertility was below the replacement level. In 2010–2015, 46 per cent lived in countries where women had, on average, fewer than 2.1 births over a lifetime. With the continuation of fertility decline, as projected, for countries with fertility still above the replacement level, and with India, in particular, expected to move below the threshold of 2.1 births per woman between 2025 and 2030, it is anticipated that by 2030 around two thirds of the world’s population will live in countries where fertility lies below the replacement level.

Fertility trajectories as projected by the United Nations are based on the assumption that future changes in fertility will resemble past changes in both form and magnitude, taking into account any available data for each national population. Thus, the end of high fertility is in sight and will arrive soon, unless several countries follow unusual pathways and maintain higher levels of fertility in future decades compared to what is expected based on historical patterns of change.

[17] Webpage: “World Population Growth.” By Max Roser and Esteban Ortiz-Ospina. Our World In Data, 2013. Updated 4/2017. <ourworldindata.org>

If fertility fell in lockstep with mortality we would not have seen an increase in the population at all. The demographic transition works through the asynchronous timing of the two fundamental demographic changes: The decline of the death rate is followed by the decline of birth rates.

This decline of the death rate followed by a decline of the birth rate is something we observe with great regularity and independent of the culture or religion of the population.

The chart below presents the empirical evidence for the demographic transition for five very different countries in Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia. In all countries we observed the pattern of the demographic transition, first a decline of mortality that starts the population boom and then a decline of fertility which brings the population boom to an end. The population boom is a temporary event.

In the past the size of the population was stagnant because of high mortality, now country after country is moving into a world in which the population is stagnant because of low fertility.

Demographic Transition in Five Countries

[18] Article: “The Impact of Population Momentum on Future Population Growth.” United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Facts, October 2017. <population.un.org>

Page 1:

Thanks to a phenomenon known as population momentum, a youthful population with constant levels of mortality and a net migration of zero continues to grow even when fertility remains constant at the replacement level. In this situation, a relatively youthful age structure promotes a more rapid growth, because the births being produced by the relatively large number of women of reproductive age outnumber the deaths occurring in the total population, even if the fertility of the average woman stands at the replacement level.

Population momentum can be conducive to positive or negative population growth. A relatively older age structure contributes to a slower rate of growth or, in more extreme cases, to population decline.

Page 2:

The relative impact of population momentum on future population growth varies by country, especially in comparison to the impact of current and future levels of fertility.

In summary, the momentum variant of the population projections published by the United Nations highlights that, irrespective of trends in the global fertility level over the next few decades, much of the population growth anticipated during this period is inscribed already in the current youthful age structure of the global population.

[19] Article: “Can Rapid Population Growth Be Good for Economic Development?” By Wolfgang Fengler. World Bank, April 15, 2010. <blogs.worldbank.org>

[W]hile the speed of population growth remains unchanged, its sources are different. In the past, population growth was driven by increasing numbers of children. Today, and in the future, it is driven by longer life expectance and the “base effect” of the previous population boom. There are just many more young families which have children. However, they have fewer of them. In Kenya, the number of children per family has fallen sharply, from 8.1 children in 1978 to 4.6 children in 2008, and by 2050 it may reach 2.4. As a result, the fastest growing group in Kenya’s population is not anymore young children—but adults which will almost triple in size from 21 million today to about 60 million in 2050.

[20] Article: “Thomas Malthus.” Encyclopedia Britannica, July 20, 1998. Revised 9/28/18. <www.britannica.com>

In 1798 Malthus published anonymously the first edition of An Essay on the Principle of Population as It Affects the Future Improvement of Society, with Remarks on the Speculations of Mr. Godwin, M. Condorcet, and Other Writers. The work received wide notice. Briefly, crudely, yet strikingly, Malthus argued that infinite human hopes for social happiness must be vain, for population will always tend to outrun the growth of production. The increase of population will take place, if unchecked, in a geometric progression, while the means of subsistence will increase in only an arithmetic progression. Population will always expand to the limit of subsistence and will be held there by famine, war, and ill health. “Vice” (which included, for Malthus, contraception), “misery,” and “self-restraint” alone could check this excessive growth.

… At no point, even up to the final and massive sixth edition of 1826, did he ever adequately set out his premises or examine their logical status. Nor did he handle his factual and statistical materials with much critical or statistical rigour, even though statisticians in Europe and Great Britain had developed increasingly sophisticated techniques during Malthus’s lifetime. … For better or worse, the Malthusian theory of population was, nevertheless, incorporated into theoretical systems of economics. It acted as a brake on economic optimism, helped to justify a theory of wages based on the wage earner’s minimum cost of subsistence, and discouraged traditional forms of charity.

[21] Book: A Concise History of World Population (6th edition). By Massimo Livi-Bacci. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 2017.

Pages 86–87:

In 1798, Malthus described … the incompatibility of the growth potential of population, “which increases in a geometrical ratio,” and that of the resources necessary for survival, especially food, which “increases only in an arithmetical ratio.” Because laws of nature require that humans have food, “this natural inequality of the two powers of population and of production in the earth and that great law of our nature which must constantly keep their effects equal form the great difficulty that to me appears insurmountable.” Demographic increase strains the relationship between resources and population until a check to further growth intervenes. Malthus calls these “positive” checks; famine, disease, or war reduce population size (as happened with the medieval cycles of the plague or the Thirty Years War) and reestablish a more suitable balance with resources. Reachieved equilibrium, however, will only last until another negative cycle begins, unless population can find some other way to limit its reproductive capacity. This “preventive” and virtuous check exists in the form of celibacy or at least the delay of marriage, practices that reduce the reproductivity of populations wise enough to choose this alternative. …

The Malthusian model, though repeatedly revised and updated over the years, is still basically contained in its initial formulation….

[22] Book: A Concise History of World Population (6th edition). By Massimo Livi-Bacci. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 2017.

Page 147:

Returning to consideration of the long-term relationship between demographic growth and economic development, between 1820 and 2000 the population of the four leading western nations (Great Britain, France, Germany, and the United States) grew by a factor of 5.6 while their combined GDP (in constant prices) multiplied by about 107. Per capita production, then, increased 19-fold … Given that per capita production (a rough indicator of individual well-being) has doubled every four decades or so during the past two centuries, it would appear that demographic growth, by whatever means it may have acted, was at best a modest check to economic development; in fact, at first glance it might seem more reasonable to adopt the opposite opinion, namely that population increase reinforced economic growth.

[23] Article: “Thomas Malthus.” Encyclopedia Britannica, July 20, 1998. Revised 9/28/18. <www.britannica.com>

[A] fundamental criticism of Malthus was his failure to anticipate the agricultural revolution, which caused food production to meet or exceed population growth and made prosperity possible for a larger number of people. For example, the price of wheat in the United States, adjusted for inflation, has fallen by about two-thirds in the last 200 years. Since 1950, the world’s per capita food production has increased by about 1 percent per year. The incidence of famine has diminished, with famines in the modern era typically caused by war or by destructive government policies, such as price controls on food. Malthus also failed to anticipate the widespread use of contraceptives that brought about a decline in the fertility rate.

[24] Webpage: “Norman Borlaug.” The Nobel Prize, 1970. Accessed December 17, 2018 at <www.nobelprize.org>

For the past twenty-seven years he has collaborated with Mexican scientists on problems of wheat improvement; for the last ten or so of those years he has also collaborated with scientists from other parts of the world, especially from India and Pakistan, in adapting the new wheats to new lands and in gaining acceptance for their production. An eclectic, pragmatic, goal-oriented scientist, he accepts and discards methods or results in a constant search for more fruitful and effective ones, while at the same time avoiding the pursuit of what he calls “academic butterflies”. A vigorous man who can perform prodigies of manual labor in the fields, he brings to his work the body and competitive spirit of the trained athlete, which indeed he was in his high school and college days.

… In 1944 he accepted an appointment as geneticist and plant pathologist assigned the task of organizing and directing the Cooperative Wheat Research and Production Program in Mexico. This program, a joint undertaking by the Mexican government and the Rockefeller Foundation, involved scientific research in genetics, plant breeding, plant pathology, entomology, agronomy, soil science, and cereal technology. Within twenty years he was spectacularly successful in finding a high-yielding short-strawed, disease-resistant wheat.

To his scientific goal he soon added that of the practical humanitarian: arranging to put the new cereal strains into extensive production in order to feed the hungry people of the world—and thus providing, as he says, “a temporary success in man’s war against hunger and deprivation,” a breathing space in which to deal with the “Population Monster” and the subsequent environmental and social ills that too often lead to conflict between men and between nations. Statistics on the vast acreage planted with the new wheat and on the revolutionary yields harvested in Mexico, India, and Pakistan are given in the presentation speech by Mrs. Lionaes and in the Nobel lecture by Dr. Borlaug. Well advanced, also, is the use of the new wheat in six Latin American countries, six in the Near and Middle East, several in Africa.

… Dr. Borlaug is presently participating in extensive experimentation with triticale, a man-made species of grain derived from a cross between wheat rye that shows promise of being superior to either wheat or rye in productivity and nutritional quality.

[25] Opinion: “Overpopulation Is Still the Problem.” By Alon Tal. Huffington Post, September 27, 2013. <www.huffingtonpost.com>

Overpopulation remains the leading driver of hunger, desertification, species depletion and a range of social maladies across the planet. Recently, a spate of op-ed essays have filled the pages of some of world’s top newspapers and blogs—from the Guardian to the New York Times—challenged this view, declaring that overpopulations is not, nor has ever been, a problem. To make progress in the most recent round of the age-old debate between technological optimists and Malthusian realists, it’s important to establish criteria and characterize consequences. …

Professor Alon Tal is a faculty member at Tel Aviv University’s Department of Public Policy and a veteran environmental activist.

[26] Webpage: “World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision.” United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, June 21, 2017.

The concentration of global population growth in the poorest countries presents a considerable challenge to governments in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which seeks to end poverty and hunger, expand and update health and education systems, achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment, reduce inequality and ensure that no one is left behind.

[27] Webpage: “Does Population Growth Impact Climate Change?” Scientific American. Accessed December 17, 2018 at <www.scientificamerican.com>

No doubt human population growth is a major contributor to global warming, given that humans use fossil fuels to power their increasingly mechanized lifestyles. More people means more demand for oil, gas, coal and other fuels mined or drilled from below the Earth’s surface that, when burned, spew enough carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere to trap warm air inside like a greenhouse.

… And with worldwide population expected to surpass nine billion over the next 50 years, environmentalists and others are worried about the ability of the planet to withstand the added load of greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere and wreaking havoc on ecosystems down below.

… According to the Worldwatch Institute, a nonprofit environmental think tank, the overriding challenges facing our global civilization are to curtail climate change and slow population growth. … “If we cannot stabilize climate and we cannot stabilize population, there is not an ecosystem on Earth that we can save.”

[28] Article: “Impact of Population Growth and Natural Hazards on Biodiversity.” BBC. Accessed December 17, 2018 at <www.bbc.com>

Biodiversity is the range of different species present in the community of an ecosystem. The biodiversity of ecosystems can be affected by population growth, human activities and natural hazards.

The burning of fossil fuels leads to an increase in sulphur dioxide in the atmosphere, which causes acid rain. Acid rain has devastating consequences on biodiversity as many plants and animal species cannot survive these conditions. …

… If untreated sewage is released into rivers it provides food for bacteria, which will increase in numbers and use up the oxygen supply of the water. This results in a decrease in species diversity since only species that can live in areas with low oxygen concentrations will survive.

Deforestation describes the removal of vast areas of natural forest for the benefit of humans. This can result in habitat destruction, a reduction in soil fertility and poor soil structure leading to a decrease in biodiversity.

Desertification describes the conversion of large areas of land to desert as a result of human activity. This decreases biodiversity as only species that can survive in a dry habitat will remain in these areas.

Grazing is carried out by animals such as deer and sheep that feed on a variety of plant species. … At very high grazing intensities the biodiversity decreases because only plants with adaptations to tolerate the effects of grazing are able to survive.

Pesticides can have adverse effects on the environment if they are not biodegradable and they can accumulate in the bodies of organisms over time. Due to the animals at each level in a food chain eating large numbers of the organisms from the level below in the food chain, the concentration of pesticide in the bodies of organisms increases at higher levels of food chains. This can result in the toxicity of the pollutant reaching fatal levels in the organisms at the top of the food chain.

[29] Article: “Why Population Matters to Forests.” Population Action International, 2011. <pai.org>

Deforestation threatens the well-being and livelihoods of millions of people who heavily depend on forest resources. It is particularly devastating for women and children in poor rural communities. Yet deforestation is occurring at alarmingly high rates, especially in areas of the world that have high levels of population growth.

… Deforestation continues at high rates especially in developing countries, although there are indications of it slowing down at the global level. This loss is mainly occurring through the conversion of forests into agricultural land. …

Demographic factors including population growth, density, distribution, migration, and urbanization are important drivers of deforestation. The top 10 countries experiencing the greatest forest loss have large populations, many of which continue to grow rapidly…. In general, areas of high population growth overlap with those that have experienced high forest loss over the years.

… Evidence shows that rapid population growth, in combination with other factors, contributes to increasing deforestation. Small frontier farmers, living on the edge of forests, drive much of the developing world’s deforestation by cutting down forests for settlement and food production.

[30] Book: Life on the Brink. Edited by Philip Cafaro and Eileen Crist. University of Georgia Press, 2012.

Pages 3–4:

The explosion of humanity has decimated many animal and plant populations, extinguished species and subspecies, and caused collapsing ecologies, spreading bio-homogeneity, and the shrinking and fragmentation of wild places. The engine of this ruin has been the virtually unlimited appropriation of the natural world to serve a human project out of bounds. Ocean life has been reduced to food and bycatch; rainforests razed for meat, soybeans, palm, oil, and timber; boreal and temperate forests cut down and exploited for their wood, pulp, and energy resources; mountains and underground shale detonated for coal and natural gas; deep-sea floor punctured for oil; grasslands overgrazed or converted into strictly human breadbaskets; and freshwaters channelized, dammed, dumped in, and overfished. Worldwide, animals are being exterminated at an unprecedented pace, either displaced or killed for their meat and lucrative body parts. Where natural areas and nonhuman beings do not suffer directly, they take indirect hits from climate change and pollution.

… If humanity is to avoid committing interspecies genocide in the twenty-first century, we will have to make revolutionary changes in how we live on Earth—including limiting how many of us inhabit it.

Pages 68–69:

The best beacons for the harm done by population growth are right before our noses: wholesale extinction, wrecked and plowed wildlands, and climate weirdness. But too many who are worried about such things do not see—or do not want to see—that it is the flood of new mouths that makes them happen. …

And when we get right down to it, just freezing world and U.S. population is not nearly enough. [T]here is really no choice but to sharply lower the population of Man over the next one or two hundred years. [W]e must work to bring the population of Man down to about two billion, else we face utter ruin. … For the sake of wild things we must bring our population down to roughly two billion. For those of us now on Earth, we can begin to lay the groundwork for such a campaign. There is no better work before us.

[31] Book: Move Upstream: A Call To Solve Overpopulation. By Karen I. Shragg. Karen I. Shragg, 2015.

Page 1: “Overpopulation is our biggest, most ignored problem on Planet Earth and it is solvable.”

[32] Book: Man Swarm and the Killing of Wildlife. By Dave Foreman. Raven’s Eye Press, 2011.

Pages 6–7:

… I hope to show lovers of wild things that Man’s population ka-boom shrivels and shatters the dazzle of wild things that dwells on Earth. [T]he most dreadful and unforgivable outcome of Man’s population explosion is what we are doing to other Earthlings. And it isn’t something that might happen in years to come; it is happening right now. Professor Eileen Crist of Virginia Tech warns that “it is not our survival and well-being that are primarily on the line, but everybody else’s.” She is right. … Without freezing human numbers, we can’t keep our National Parks, we can’t stop the loss of polar bears and elephants and whales, and we can’t hope to put the brakes on greenhouse gases and halt climatic Ragnarok.

[33] Calculated with the dataset: “Population, Total.” World Bank. Last updated November 14, 2018. <data.worldbank.org>

“2000 [=] 6,121,682,736 … 2015 [=] 7,357,559,450”

CALCULATION: (7,357,559,450 – 6,121,682,736) / 6,121,682,736 = 20%

[34] Dataset: “Prevalence of Undernourishment (% of Population).” World Bank, June 28, 2018. <data.worldbank.org>

Population below minimum level of dietary energy consumption (also referred to as prevalence of undernourishment) shows the percentage of the population whose food intake is insufficient to meet dietary energy requirements continuously. Data showing as 5 may signify a prevalence of undernourishment below 5%.

Source: Food and Agriculture Organization…

Aggregation Method: Weighted average

Development Relevance: Good nutrition is the cornerstone for survival, health and development. Well-nourished children perform better in school, grow into healthy adults and in turn give their children a better start in life. Well-nourished women face fewer risks during pregnancy and childbirth, and their children set off on firmer developmental paths, both physically and mentally (UNICEF childinfo.org).

Limitations and Exceptions: From a policy and program standpoint, this measure has its limits. First, food insecurity exists even where food availability is not a problem because of inadequate access of poor households to food. Second, food insecurity is an individual or household phenomenon, and the average food available to each person, even corrected for possible effects of low income, is not a good predictor of food insecurity among the population. And third, nutrition security is determined not only by food security but also by the quality of care of mothers and children and the quality of the household’s health environment (Smith and Haddad 2000).

Long Definition: Population below minimum level of dietary energy consumption (also referred to as prevalence of undernourishment) shows the percentage of the population whose food intake is insufficient to meet dietary energy requirements continuously. Data showing as 5 may signify a prevalence of undernourishment below 5%.

Periodicity: Annual

Statistical Concept and Methodology: Data on undernourishment are from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and measure food deprivation based on average food available for human consumption per person, the level of inequality in access to food, and the minimum calories required for an average person.

NOTE: An Excel file containing the data is available upon request.

[35] Calculated with the dataset: “Population, Total.” World Bank. Last updated November 14, 2018. <data.worldbank.org>

“1992 [=] 5,459,753,865 … 2016 [=] 7,444,157,356”

CALCULATION: (7,444,157,356 – 5,459,753,865) / 5,459,753,865 = 36%

[36] Dataset: “Depth of the Food Deficit (Kilocalories Per Person Per Day).” World Bank, June 28, 2018. <data.worldbank.org>

The depth of the food deficit indicates how many calories would be needed to lift the undernourished from their status, everything else being constant. The average intensity of food deprivation of the undernourished, estimated as the difference between the average dietary energy requirement and the average dietary energy consumption of the undernourished population (food-deprived), is multiplied by the number of undernourished to provide an estimate of the total food deficit in the country, which is then normalized by the total population.

Source: Food and Agriculture Organization, Food Security Statistics. …

Aggregation Method: Weighted average

Development Relevance: The prevalence of undernourishment indicator provides only a partial picture of the food security situation. Recognizing this, FAO has compiled a preliminary set of food security indicators, available for most countries and years, to contribute to a more comprehensive assessment of the multiple dimensions and manifestations of food insecurity and to effective policies for more effective interventions and responses.

Long Definition: The depth of the food deficit indicates how many calories would be needed to lift the undernourished from their status, everything else being constant. The average intensity of food deprivation of the undernourished, estimated as the difference between the average dietary energy requirement and the average dietary energy consumption of the undernourished population (food-deprived), is multiplied by the number of undernourished to provide an estimate of the total food deficit in the country, which is then normalized by the total population.

Periodicity: Annual

Statistical Concept and Methodology: The indicator is calculated as an average over 3 years.

NOTE: An Excel file containing the data is available upon request.

[37] Calculated with the dataset: “Population, Total.” World Bank. Last updated November 14, 2018. <data.worldbank.org>

“1982 [=] 4,599,181,616 … 2016 [=] 7,444,157,356”

CALCULATION: (7,444,157,356 – 4,599,181,616) / 4,599,181,616 = 62%

[38] Paper: “Global Land Change From 1982 to 2016.” By Xiao-Peng Song and others. Nature, August 8, 2018. <www.nature.com>

Land change is a cause and consequence of global environmental change.1,2 Changes in land use and land cover considerably alter the Earth’s energy balance and biogeochemical cycles, which contributes to climate change and—in turn—affects land surface properties and the provision of ecosystem services.1,2,3,4 However, quantification of global land change is lacking. Here we analyse 35 years’ worth of satellite data and provide a comprehensive record of global land-change dynamics during the period 1982–2016. We show that—contrary to the prevailing view that forest area has declined globally5—tree cover has increased by 2.24 million km2 (+7.1% relative to the 1982 level). This overall net gain is the result of a net loss in the tropics being outweighed by a net gain in the extratropics

[39] The Global 2000 Report to the President of the U.S.: Entering the 21st Century (Volume II: The Technical Report). By the Council on Environmental Quality and U.S. Department of State (Study Director: Gerald O. Barney). Pergamon Press, 1979. <pdf.usaid.gov>

Page v:

On May 23, 1977, President Carter stated in his Environmental Message to the Congress:

Environmental problems do not stop at national boundaries. In the past decade, we and other nations have come to recognize the urgency of international efforts to protect our common environment.

As part of this process, I am directing the Council on Environmental Quality and the Department of State, working in cooperation with the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and other appropriate agencies, to make a one-year study of the probable changes in the world’s population, natural resources, and environment through the end of the century. This study will serve as the foundation of our longer-term planning.

Page x:

Literally hundreds of people contributed in one way or another to this Study, and at different points each contribution was vitally important. Initially, the members of the executive group (listed earlier) made the project possible by establishing guidelines and providing the necessary budget. …

The hardest work—the detailed preparation of the projections—was done by a group of experts, most of whom were already more than fully occupied with other work before this study came along, but somehow they managed to find time to complete their contributions to the study. These experts and their contributions are:

Pages xiii–xviii: “Informal Advisers to the Study”

[40] The Global 2000 Report to the President of the U.S.: Entering the 21st Century (Volume II: The Technical Report). By the Council on Environmental Quality and U.S. Department of State (Study Director: Gerald O. Barney). Pergamon Press, 1979. <pdf.usaid.gov>

Page 331:

What then is a reasonable estimate of global extinctions by 2000? Given the amount of tropical forest already lost (which is important but often ignored), the extinctions can be estimated as shown in Table 13-30. In the low deforestation case, approximately 15 percent of the planet’s species can be expected to be lost. In the high deforestation case, perhaps as much as 20 percent will be lost. This means that of the 3–10 million species482 now present on the earth, at least 500,000–600,000 will be extinguished during the next two decades. The largest number of extinctions can be expected in the insect order—many of them beneficial species—simply because there are so very many species of insects. The next highest number of extinctions will be among plants. While the projected extinctions refer to all biota, they are much larger than the 1,000 bird and mammal species now recognized as endangered.483 Clearly the extinctions caused by human activities will rise to unprecedented rates by 2000.

[41] Book: 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: A Global Species Assessment. The World Conservation Union, 2004.

Page 46:

At least 27 species are recorded as having become Extinct or Extinct in the Wild during the last 20 years (1984–2004) (Tables 3.2 and 3.3). Inherent in identifying very recent extinctions is the problem of extinctions not being included because they are not yet confirmed. For example, eight species of birds are thought to have become Extinct or Extinct in the Wild over the past 20 years, but they are not included, as further research is needed prove the last individual has died (Box 3.2).

[42] Paper: “Historical Bird and Terrestrial Mammal Extinction Rates and Causes.” By Craig Loehle and Willis Eschenbach. Diversity and Distributions, October 13, 2011. <onlinelibrary.wiley.com>

Page 1: “Only six continental birds and three continental mammals were recorded in standard databases as going extinct since 1500 compared to 123 bird species and 58 mammal species on islands.”

Page 4:

We can also evaluate continental extinction rates relative to the species pool. The three extinct mammals represent approximately 0.08% of the continental species pool. Even if we assume that all three went extinct in the past 100 years (vs. 500 year), it would take, at this rate, 1235 years for 1% of continental mammals to go extinct. Similarly for birds, the six species represent 0.062% of the 9672 species pool and it would take 1613 years to lose 1% of extant species at current rates even if the recorded extinctions all took place over the last 100 years.

Page 5:

Habitat loss has, of course, played a role in the extinction of some continental species. However, it is worth noting that to date, no continental mammal or bird in our databases has been documented to have gone extinct solely because of habitat reduction. …

Our results do not support statements or projections by others of grossly elevated extinction rates for continental bird and mammal fauna over the last 500 years compared with background rates.

[43] Paper: “Marine Defaunation: Animal Loss in the Global Ocean.” By Douglas J. McCauley. Science, January 16, 2015. <www.sciencemag.org>

Page 248: “The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) records only 15 global extinctions of marine animal species in the past 514 years (i.e., limit of IUCN temporal coverage) and none in the past five decades”8, 9

NOTE: The paper projects that mankind is going to cause “a major extinction” of marine animals. This article from Just Facts shows how that forecast is based on misleading claims and is inconsistent with the documented facts of this matter.

[44] Book: A Concise History of World Population (6th edition). By Massimo Livi-Bacci. John Wiley & Sons, 2017.

Pages 112–113:

During the past 10,000 years the human race has managed to multiply by a factor of 1,000 and at the same time increase the per capita availability of resources. Those who argue for the inevitability of decreasing returns maintain that this has come about because the limits of fixed resources have never been reached, either because these limits have been repeatedly pushed back as new land is cultivated and sparsely populated continents inhabited or because resources have been used more productively thanks to innovations and discoveries. Nonetheless, for long historical periods the bite of diminishing returns has severely tested the ability of population to react. Moreover, certain resources would seem to be not only limited but nonsubstitutable and so in the long term neither innovation nor invention can avert the onset of diminishing returns and impoverishment.

… In other words, diminishing returns from fixed resources are more than compensated for by the increasing returns of human ingenuity and by the ever more favorable conditions created by demographic growth.

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