World population reaches landmark 7 billion this week .

World population reaches landmark 7 billion this week . Should this be our chief concern? Women have already defused the population bomb. Education and urbanization have lowered fertility rates to 2.5 children/woman and that number continues to fall. Aging, not population growth will be the major demographic boom of the 21st century. Rising consumption, not so much the rising head count, is the largest threat to our environment. It comes from countries where population is already under control and shrinking.

It’s time to defuse the consumption bomb that is threatening to consume our overburdened planet.

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9 Responses to World population reaches landmark 7 billion this week .


  1. Educated women generally have children later, and fewer children, than women without education. Clearly, the answer is to see as many women as possible educated highly, then. Heck, these highly educated women might even help find solutions for the other issues we face. 🙂

  2. Rajini Rao says:


    Gert Sønderby , absolutely! Delayed birthing increases the ‘doubling time’ of a population as any biologist knows. Given that women are 50% of the planet’s human resources, it is only logical to expect that more women with a voice and education will increase solutions to the issues we face. Cheers to that prospect!


  3. Highly educate everyone but most especially women and make sure they have their fair share of power, most especially a voice in managing our society…best way to manage the population. It’s been demonstrated over and again.


  4. David Anthony, yes, exactly. But since, with the way the world is today, women are often left behind in the whole education race, that, I think, might be worth focusing on. Often, the pressures on men are already to become highly educated so they can be breadwinners, while women are directed toward becoming wives and mothers – and that’s what needs changing.


  5. Make sense to me, Gert Sønderby 🙂 Interestingly enough, here in the USA, for the last decade, more women are enrolled in higher education than men. It will be interesting to see how that changing demographic plays out over the next few decades..


  6. A similar pattern emerges here in Europe. So far, it has meant that our native populations are dropping to or below replacement rate (2.0 per couple per generation), which does cause the occasional bit of handwringing. But we’ve had the population shifting towards being more elderly and fewer young for ages now – comparing today’s workers/supported ratio (the ratio of people who hold jobs to people on various forms of support) to the one in 1960, we see it is much lower. It will continue to descend. However, we can also expect productivity and value generation per worker to increase as we introduce various efficiency-boosting methods, etc. So if we can sort things out, we should be all right even with a dropping population.

  7. Rajini Rao says:


    David Anthony , you beat me to the same point! The problem in the US is that women drop out of the career track at much higher rates and that there are not enough women in leadership positions. This has been attributed to ‘cultural’ attitudes in the work place, not enough resources for child care and other support systems.

  8. Rajini Rao says:


    Matthew Ghilarducci , fortunately population growth in India is declining..currently ranks 93rd in the world for growth rate, 2.68 children/woman compared to 6 children/woman in 1950 according to a quick google survey. I suspect that it will continue to decline..anecdotally, I see all my friends/family in India overwhelmingly choose to have only one child. The middle class and economy is booming there. Africa remains a tough problem, though. I found this neat little video from National Geographic that makes my point on consumption and distribution of resources, vs. the actual number of people itself..I think it is so nicely done it deserves its own post 🙂

  9. Rajini Rao says:


    Agreed, Indians will lead as the most populous country soon…and that is a good thing for them, since China’s population will be aging by then and they will not be able to replace their workforce. Indians have already figured out that their youth will be their best resource in the future, providing they are educated. Based on the trends I see, the birth rate is declining although it needs to get to 2.0 children/family to be at a zero rate of growth.

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