Today the reality is that the world is experiencing falling birth rates and rising life expectancy. Rapidly rising populations are a threat in the poorest countries, while low fertility is a threat to developed nations . The world population is getting much older: by 2050 the number of people over the age of 65 will triple from 531 million to 1.5 billion. In fact, perhaps the real issue of the world population is not those being born, it is those not dying. There is a growing life expectancy gap where the affluent may expect to live to 120 or more while the poor won’t see 60 . In most developed countries actual fertility is lower than desired. If you believe that there are too many people on Earth already and have access to contraceptives and have had a child then your position is at best hypocritical. A consistent world view would hold that no one should have more children, but in reality of human nature is that only those who have access to contraceptives can accomplish that. Perhaps we should allow immigration from overpopulated countries to keep the ratio of working age to elderly dependents constant. Unfortunately most immigration policies severely limit the migration of unskilled people.
It is true that the world population is growing rapidly in terms of absolute numbers, but the growth per year has always been less than a few percent. Of course, this growth is compounding. It took eternity until 1804 for the world to reach the first billion. It took 123 years to reach the next billion in 1927. The most recent billion in growth from six to seven billion took only 13. This was one year longer than it took to jump from five to six billion. That means population growth is slowing.
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