Why is population an important topic?
The human race has an enormous impact on this planet! We control and modify the Earth more than any other species. How do we meet the needs of human beings and also preserve Earth's finite resources, biodiversity, and natural beauty? This is the fundamental question of our time, and the challenge is becoming more problematic as we add more people. Meanwhile, in every locality, it's important to know how fast population is growing, so that we can build sufficient sewers, roads, power plants, and schools. Do we know exactly how many people there are in the world today? No. There are so many people on this planet that counting them up, exactly, is impossible. However, experts believe there are more than 7 billion people in the world today. This is a fairly reliable estimate. World population in 2000 was 2 times greater than it was in 1960, 4 times greater than 1900, and 10 times greater than 1700. After growing very slowly for tens of thousands of years, world population has grown very rapidly in the last few centuries and continues to do so. How fast is the world's population growing?
In terms of net gain (births minus deaths), we are adding over 200,000 people to this planet every day, or 140 EVERY MINUTE. That equates to 70 million more people every year, about the same as the combined population of California, Texas, and New York. Although we have made encouraging progress in slowing the growth rate, any rate of growth is unsustainable in the long term, so we must stabilize population soon for the good of future generations. Are there any parts of the world where population is not growing? Yes. Roughly speaking, populations are holding stable in Japan and Western Europe. Populations are decreasing somewhat in Russia and some Eastern European countries. Growth in several southern African countries has slowed due to higher death rates because of AIDS. Butpopulation is growing either rapidly or very rapidly in every other...
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