Analysts expect the world population to hit 7 billion any day now, and many are wondering what the future will look like as the number of humans on earth continues to rise rapidly.
It took all of human history up to 1804 for the world's population to reach 1 billion. But the next billion came only 100 years later, in 1927. And after that, the rate of growth accelerated, 3 billion in 1959, 4 billion 1974, 5 billion 1987, 6 billion 1999, and now 7 billion. The world is now adding a billion people to its population about every 12 years.
Although the world's continually increasing population means people are living longer, it also means more demand for basic survival needs like food and water. And, much of the world's population is approaching old age, so there will be many elderly people for society to care for.
"If you go just two decades ahead, all the trends are indicating that we are going to need to be producing something like 40 percent more food, 40 percent more available freshwater, and actually about 50 percent more energy. And, remember, that's clean energy." - Sir John Beddington, government scientific adviser
1. How many people are there in the world?
2. What would happen if the world population suddenly doubled?
3. What resources do people need to survive? Does everyone in the world currently have enough of those?
4. In which parts of the world do you think the population is growing the fastest? The slowest?
1. According to the video, which world region will experience the fastest population growth by the end of the century?
2. Do you think increased population growth is a good or a bad thing for the planet and for humanity? Why?
3. Based on what you saw in the video, what priorities should governments set for themselves to be able to support their countries' growing populations?