New U.N. projections show that the Earth’s population will reach 11.2 billion by 2100.

The world’s current population is approximately 7.3 billion, a growth of one billion people in the past 12 years. While Earth’s population is still increasing, it is doing so at a slower rate nowadays.

The global population used to grow by around 1.24 percent each year, but that number has now decreased to 1.18 percent, an annual addition of around 83 million people.

Still, Earth is expected to hit its estimated population by the end of the century primarily due to declining child mortality rates and increased life expectancy.

The greatest increases are expected in Africa and Asia. Specifically, Africa will see the greatest surge in population, with more than half of the expected growth occurring there. The continent is expected to have a population of 1.3 billion by 2050.

Asia, on the other hand, is predicted to add one billion people to the global population. Additionally, India is expected to top China as the most populous country within the next seven years.

The majority of the burden will be placed on the poorest and least developed areas, making it hard to achieve equality.

These places include the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Niger, Somalia and Uganda.

With the global population seeing such increases, and the majority of increases coming in the poorest areas, the greatest impacts will be seen on the environment, economy and health.

To help cope with the expected surge in global population, there is a worldwide need for birth control, as well as better care for the aging population.

Not only does birth control help stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, but according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, it prevents almost two million unintended pregnancies in the U.S. every year.

Estimates also show that every $1 spent in family planning funded by the public saves $4 on Medicaid expenses that would be needed for pregnancy care.

Elderly people will soon make up a larger percentage of the world’s population, according to the World Health Organization. With developing countries seeing higher life expectancies, reports indicate that elderly people will soon make up 16 percent of the world’s population.

In fact, it’s estimated that that the number of elderly people on Earth will be higher than the number of infants by 2020.

The biggest threats when it comes to the elderly are chronic and preventable diseases. Moving forward, the goal is to reduce the severity of illnesses such as cancer and diabetes. In doing so, the older population will be able to remain healthy and mobile for a longer period of time.

Accomplishing this goal will also take pressure off the world’s infrastructure that is impacted by the aging population, such as facilities that deal with healthcare and long-term living.

Matt Wotus

Sources: Healthline News, United Nations
Photo: Tech Times

global population
The Pew Research Center recently published an article called “Attitudes About Aging: A Global Perspective.”  The article includes research and data from a survey about changing global perspectives on aging. The study projects by 2050, the global population of senior citizens 65 and older will reach 1.5 billion. According to the report, countries in East Asia such as China, South Korea and Japan will lead the world with a large graying population. What the Pew Research Center defines as the “dependent” population (citizens 15 years old and younger as well as 64-years and older) will soon be reversed for key countries. Though China currently has leads in the world’s largest population, by 2050, this current generation in the workforce will soon be a part of the “dependent” category. On the other hand, countries such as Nigeria (expected to triple in population) and Kenya (expected to double in population) will soon have a large population of youth enter the workforce. The Pew concludes countries from East Asia alongside their European counterparts (expected to continue to have a sizable older population by 2050) will have a diminished labor force and could pose challenges for economic growth. Global attitudes about the older population, however, do not prove so positive for certain countries. In South Korea, despite the high standard of living and wealth in the country, 50% of the country’s elderly population are living in poverty. The generation that helped South Korea’s meteoric rise in development has led to an inversion of their status in old age: homelessness and neglect with little governmental support. Currently, only one-third of elderly citizens receive pension. The young population in South Korea are moving towards the cities. Moreover, government polls display changing attitudes from the Confucian-based ideal of taking care of the elderly. The younger generation has shifted from 90% to 37% believing that they should take care of their parents. According to The Pew, more than one-third of citizens from Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States, along with South Korea, believe seniors should be self-reliant in their old age as opposed to receiving aid from the government. Meanwhile, countries that presently have large, young populations, such as Pakistan, Egypt, India, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa will have a massive labor force that will hopefully have a positive impact on the labor market and promote economic development. Development in public health and education is crucial for Africa’s future working generation to live up to its potential. – Miles Abadilla Sources: Columbia Daily Herald, The Guardian, Pew Research Center Photo: Discover Magazine

4-H Canada and Bayer CropScience have partnered to hold the global 4-H Youth Ag-Summit in Calgary, Albert, Canada from August 19-25th. Young adults (ages 18-25) from 24 countries worldwide will “come to the table,” share their ideas and develop a plan of action on how to best feed the hungry planet.

Throughout the week-long event called “Feeding a Hungry Planet,” 120 young agricultural delegates, 25 global mentors, and numerous volunteers will share and explore ideas with peers, business leaders, elected officials, and scientists about the global agricultural challenge.

The United Nations declared in November 2011 that the global population had surpassed 7 billion people. By 2050, it is estimated that another 2 billion people will need to be provided with adequate food and nutrition. The 4-H Youth Ag-Summit is built on the idea that no one person, company or nation holds the answer, but through discussion and innovation, these young minds can find and act upon groundbreaking agricultural solutions to feed our growing world.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimated that 870 million people, one in every eight people, were suffering from prolonged starvation in 2010-2012. This means they do not have enough food to lead healthy and active lives. Nearly all, or 852 million, live in developing countries. Hunger and malnutrition are the number one threat to global health, bigger than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.

Solving hunger lays the foundation for progress in other areas of development, such as health and education. Well-nourished women have healthier, heavier babies who have stronger immune systems. A healthy, nourished child is more likely to attend school and perform to their full potential.

Chronic hunger was reduced in the 1980s and 1990s, but progress leveled off between 2000 and 2010. Despite the scale of the issue, hunger is an entirely solvable problem. By combining today’s knowledge, tools, and policies, the world has the capabilities to ensure that no one goes to bed hungry. The young minds at the Feeding the Hungry Planet-4-H Youth Ag Summit are working to do just that.

– Ali Warlich

Sources: Feeding a Hungry Planet, World Food Programme
Photo: UK Ag News