Current World Population
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2014 News Items

  • July 30, 2014 - Staring Down the Barrel of Unsustainability
    Is humanity on a sustainable path? Are we on the verge of being unsustainable? And, if so, how will we know when we get there?
  • July 17, 2014 - Food, population and the post-2015 development agenda
    Meeting the growing demand for food may be the world’s single greatest challenge, but it is part of a much larger complex of problems, all relating to the overuse of our planet and, ultimately, to the larger challenge posed by population growth.
  • July 11, 2014 - Why World Population is a Human Rights Issue
    Today was World Population Day, and the planet celebrated by registering 165 new births every minute. Global population is currently 7.2 billion and counting, and projected to grow to 10.9 billion by 2100.
  • July 10, 2014 - World Population Day: How Are We Doing?
    Twenty-five years ago, the United Nations Development Programme declared July 11 to be World Population Day. Much has changed in the past quarter century. Significant progress has been made, but many challenges remain. More women than ever are able to decide freely how many children to have and when, but many women in the world still lack access to modern methods of contraceptives, and gender inequality in the developing world prevents many girls and women from exercising their reproductive freedom. As a result, global fertility rates have fallen, but not as fast as once expected. Without access to reproductive services, maternal and infant mortality remain unacceptably high, and the challenges posed by a growing world population continue to mount.
  • June 28, 2014 - Fragile States/Fragile Families
    There are many factors that distinguish these "fragile" states from one another, but almost without exception they are all struggling to cope with rapid population growth. Rapid population growth can overwhelm a government's ability to tackle chronic hunger, severe poverty, environmental degradation, political unrest and the depletion of water, forests and other resources.
  • June 25, 2014 - As the World Bank Turns
    Something exciting, almost revolutionary, is happening at one of the most conservative of the world's international institutions. The World Bank, which for decades has been criticized has overly focused on the construction of dams and other infrastructures as the cure for poverty, is turning its focus to the real engine of economic progress in the developing world: girls and women.
  • May 19, 2014 - The Declaration of Ignorance?
    If Thomas Jefferson were alive today, would he be a climate change denier? Would he join with fellow skeptics and write the "Declaration of Ignorance"...
  • May 06, 2014 - The Vatican, Birth Control, and Galileo's Ghost
    If the Catholic Church, under the leadership of Pope Francis, takes the view that we are stewards of God's earth and that we have a responsibility to maintain this planet for future generations, it is not a big leap to conclude that couples should consider having smaller families. And from there it is not a huge leap to conclude that women should have access to modern methods of birth control in planning their families.
  • April 21, 2014 - If Food Could Fly
    Imagine that food could fly. Seriously, imagine it. Apples and oranges could fly from the orchards to the supermarket, or better yet fly directly into your kitchen. Potatoes and carrots could rise up from the earth, dust themselves off, and fly right into your pantry. Livestock could fly from the pasture to the packinghouse and the steaks could fly into your freezer. Imagine how much cheaper food would be, and how much less would be wasted. In the US, transportation and packaging account for about seven percent of what we pay for food. Globally, the UN estimates that about one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption never makes it to our tables.
  • April 16, 2014 - Re-Examining the Global Barriers to Reproductive Freedom
    Every woman in the world should be able to space or limit her births. At a minimum, that means every woman should have access to the contraceptive method of her choice, whether it's a female condom, birth control pills, an IUD, sterilization or a long-acting injectable. But physical access to contraception does not guarantee reproductive freedom. For many women in the developing world the real barrier to the exercise of reproductive choice is male opposition, religious teachings, social norms, or misinformation about contraceptive options.
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