The Task

Groups working on this task are reminded that they must first offer an abstract or summary to introduce / induct the reader to the event before offering their answers to the questions.


1. What are the possible causes for the world’s population boom?

2. Will this be our doom or can we cope?

3. What kind of problems are there with regard to sustaining such a big population?

4. How can we overcome these problems to continue sustaining our population?

One of the causes of world population boom

As the urban standard of living upgrades and gets better, increasing rural-urban migration occurs, as the people wants to get a better living. A great deal of this rural-to-urban migration will be to the largest cities of the less developed countries (e.g. Africa) , this major shift of rural population to urban cities enables more people to enjoy modern medicine, lifestyle changes, and improved nutrition, thus granting lower mortality rates and longer life spans, lowering the death rates and results in an increase in world population.

*Causes of the world population boom*

There are three factors that contribute to the increase in world population.
One of the causes is decline in the death rate.Nowadays,many people can afford to pay for medical healthcare.Besides this,people also practise hygiene and balanced diet.Thus,this leads to increase in life expectancy which in turn leads to increase in world population.

Another cause is growth in birth rate.This maybe due to marriage at earlier age and drop in illegitamacy rate.As there is advanced technology,couple who are infertile can afford to have test-tube babies or adopt children.A growth in birth rate is also perhaps caused by the larger proportion of females compared to men in certain countries.These females who have children play a big role in contributing to the country's population.Not only that,some ethnic groups prefer to have sons.These sons can be their heir to the wealth,carry their surname and even receive dowries.Hence,they will produce more children until they get a son.These indeed give rise to the world population.

Lastly,rural-urban migration also contributes to the rise in world population boom. As the people who stay in the urban areas enjoy their standard of living,the people who live in rural areas migrate to the urban areas in search for a better standard of living.

Overcoming Problems

One of the problems would be unemployment.

When there is a large amount of people/citizens who are unemployed, they would work extra doubly hard to upgrade their skills and knowledge to ensure that they do not fall back behind. Once citizens upgrade themselves, they would find more job opportunities opening up for them. This would then help boost up the economy and over the problem of a "boom" here, and instead of causing trouble, they are able to help out in the economy.

One of the problems would be environmental threats. .

Due to the large population is evident in the new era where citizens/kids are no beyond care about what to do and where. Therefore, when people don't really care, they tend to litter around. And littering will affect our daily life and increase as pollutants. Thus, to tackle this problem, this is where the Government steeps him. Government will intervene and place fines for whoever who litters. This will then, thus tackle the problem of environmental threats. Also, for too many vehicles to be on the streeet emitting dangerous gases, the same method (fines) could also be used here.

Coping with World Population Boom

With populations booming in the less developed world, migration pressures will increase
Joseph Chamie
YaleGlobal, 19 August 2004
City streets like this one in Vietnam will become even more crowded over the next 30 years
NEW YORK: One of the defining features of the 20th century that changed the course of all life and the natural environment on this planet was the unprecedented rise in world population. Incredibly, over the past 100 years the world's total population nearly quadrupled – from 1.6 billion to 6.1 billion, with most of this growth occurring during the last 50 years. In addition, the 20th century ushered in revolutionary changes in life expectancy, fertility, population aging, and large-scale migration.
What kind of future will the 21st century bring? Demographers paint a complex picture of many contradictory trends. Of the projected major trends identified by the United Nations, one of the more politically sensitive is that population growth will be the fastest in poor countries, leading to a spurt in migration towards developed countries. An expected rapid rise in the world’s urban population also holds heavy consequences.
Table 1. Urban World Population Enlarged image
Although experts debate over the exact numbers, the one trend on which all population forecasters agree is that the world's population will continue to grow in the 21st century. At least 2 billion additional inhabitants, and perhaps closer to 3 billion, are expected to be added to the world over the next five decades. This projected increase would put the total at 9 billion by 2050. It would also be the second highest half-century increase in recorded human history, just under the 3.5 billion between 1950 and 2000.
But the pace of the world population growth will slow down. In terms of absolute growth, the peak of about 87 million a year occurred in the late 1980s. The current annual increase of world population is about 77 million people. By mid-century the world is expected to be adding 29 million annually. The primary reason for the slowdown is declining fertility rates, especially among the less developed regions of the world.
However, more of the world’s population will be concentrated in less developed countries. By 2050, nearly 90 percent of the world’s population is expected to be living in less developed nations versus 80 percent today. This is simply due to the fact that nearly all of the world’s future population growth will be taking place in the less developed regions. Today, six countries account for half of the world’s annual growth of 77 million: India, China, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh and Indonesia. India alone accounts for about a fifth of the world’s total population growth.
As a result of the considerable differences in population growth rates among countries and regions, the redistribution of the world’s population is well underway. This redistribution is bringing about a new international population order. Consider, for example, the case of Europe. In 1950, the population of Europe accounted for about 22 percent of world population; today it represents close to half that level, 12 percent; and by 2050, Europe’s population is expected to be about 7 percent of the world. Another example is a comparison of Pakistan and the Russian Federation. In 1950, the population of the Russian Federation was more than double the size of Pakistan’s population (103 million versus 40 million); today, they are roughly the same size, with the Russian Federation at 143 million and Pakistan at 157 million. By mid-century, however, Pakistan’s population is expected to be triple the size of the Russian Federation’s population (349 million versus 101 million).
A natural corollary of this population growth in the less developed countries, demographers say, would be a rise in migration. At the beginning of the 20th century, roughly 33 million people were living outside the country of their birth. Today the number is estimated to be 175 million, with about 60 percent residing in Europe and North America. International migration flows are expected to remain high during the 21st century. The more developed regions are expected to continue being net receivers of international migration, with an average gain of at least 2 million per year over the coming half century. Most migrants to Europe are expected to come from Africa and Asia; in Northern America, the bulk is expected to come from Central and South America.
Fertility levels will also be lower in the 21st century, especially among less developed regions. Whereas in the 1950s, women in less developed regions had an average of six children, today‘s average is closer to three. By mid-century, the global fertility average is anticipated to be close to replacement levels of around two children per couple.
The impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic is also expected to worsen. For at least the next few decades, the epidemic will lead to increased morbidity, mortality, and population loss for the currently most affected countries. Although the probability of HIV infection is expected to decline markedly in the future, the long-term impact of the epidemic remains dire.
Only a few years into the new millennium, most of the world’s population growth is taking place in urban areas of the less developed regions. Within the next few years, the majority of the world will no longer be rural dwellers, but rather live in cities. Over the next three decades, urban areas in less developed regions are expected to double in size, growing from 2 billion today to 4 billion by 2030. A great deal of this rural-to-urban migration will be to the largest cities of the less developed countries, increasing demands for employment and social services, most notably public health care systems.
In the midst of this great migration and population growth, the world's population will also grow older, and people will live longer. Modern medicine, lifestyle changes, and improved nutrition should lead to lower mortality rates and longer life spans. By mid-century, global life expectancy is projected to be about 75 years of age – 10 years more than today. The percent of people 65 years or older is expected to more than double over the next five decades, increasing from 7 percent to 16 percent.
Among other things, population aging raises serious questions about the financial viability of pension and health care systems for the elderly. With the number of workers declining relative to those in the retirement ages, many anticipate the arrival of a “red-ink society”. Today’s budgets for social security, pensions, and health care are in the black, largely as a result of the favorable demographics of the past. However, with changing demographics, many fear not only that the red ink is coming soon, but that the stain extends as far as the eye can see.
Preventing this trend is a major economic challenge facing governments in many developed and developing countries. Possible responses include raising the age at retirement, reducing old-age benefits and health care coverage, and raising taxes. None of these responses, however, are popular among elected officials or the general public. Of course, there are some who believe that no response is required and that with time the red ink will simply go away. To this, one cynic retorted: “I have all the money that I will ever need… as long as I die by 4 pm this afternoon.”
Joseph Chamie is the Director of the Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations. The views expressed in this paper are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the United Nations.

Threats to International Security

As mentioned earlier, population growth is a major contributor to economic stagnation through its depressing effect on capital formation. With growing numbers of young people attempting to enter the labor force, many developing countries have extraordinarily high levels of unemployment. Often high rates of unemployment give rise to severe political instability, which ultimately threatens national and international security.

In a world growing closer together, wealthier countries and regions too will find it increasingly difficult to insulate themselves from threats to their own security. The combination of poverty and violence is adding rapidly to the number of refugees seeking to move into more stable and prosperous areas. Growth of refugee and migrant populations are contributing to political instability and economic dislocation in many countries. Intelligence agencies in the U.S. and elsewhere have long recognized the implications of population growth for international security.

Scarcities of Food and Fresh Water.

Productive agricultural systems have contributed to economic progress in many countries, both developed and less developed. The Green Revolution of the 1970s enabled some developing countries to become net exporters of food. Yet, global population growth during and since the Green Revolution is continuing to consume more and more of the expanding food base, leading to a decline in per capita availability of cereal grains on a global basis over the last 15 years.

The world's agricultural systems rely substantially on increasing use of fertilizers. But now, the world's farmers are witnessing signs of a declining response curve, where the use of additional fertilizer yields little additional food product. At the same time, fertilizers and intensive cropping lower the quality of soil. These factors will more and more limit the possibilities of raising food production substantially and will, at a minimum, boost relative food prices and resulting hunger for many. So will the mounting resistance of pests to insecticides, which are used increasingly by the world's farmers. On a global basis, 37 percent of food and fiber crops are now lost to pests.

At the same time, nitrogen-based fertilizers are yielding nitrous oxide, which adds to the greenhouse effect of the carbon dioxide humans produce.
As an illustration of food problems to come, Lester Brown of WorldWatch Institute has made projections regarding food demand by China and India through the year 2030. Because of industrialization leading to loss of agricultural land, population growth, and the demand for more meat instead of grain as incomes rise, China is projected to need to import 240 million tons of food annually by the year 2030. The same projections show India (currently an exporter of food) needing to import 30 million tons a year. Yet, total world agricultural trade is currently just 200 million tons of grain or grain equivalent, and that amount is decreasing as the exporting countries consume more and more of their own food products. Accordingly, the increasing demand for food imports by growing economies like China's will almost certainly drive the price of food up over the next 30 years, virtually ensuring that more people elsewhere will suffer from starvation. Historically, Western countries have shown no inclination to undergo a dramatic decline in their own quality of life (including greatly reducing consumption of meat and poultry) in order to assist poor countries with grain exports. And so the world is likely to witness severe starvation and economic dislocation over the next 30 years.

At the same time, shortages of water are at a crisis point in many countries. At least 400 million people live in regions with severe water shortages. By the year 2050, it is projected to be approximately two billion. Water tables on every continent are falling, as water is pumped out at far greater rates than rainwater can replenish in order to provide irrigation for agriculture. India, for example, is pumping out its underground aquifers at twice the rate of natural replenishment.

Humans are already using half of the globe's products of photosynthesis and over half of all accessible fresh water. Long before human demand doubles again, the limits of the ecosystem's ability to support people will become dramatically evident.


Rapid population growth aggravates poverty in developing countries by producing a high ratio of dependent children for each working adult. This leads to a relatively high percentage of income being spent on immediate survival needs of food, housing, and clothing, leaving little money for purchase of elective goods or for investment in the economy, education, government services, or infrastructure. Lack of available capital continues to frustrate the attempts of many developing countries to expand their economies and reduce poverty.

Only about 20 percent of the current world's population has a generally adequate standard of living. The other 80 percent live in conditions ranging from mild deprivation to severe deficiency. This imbalance is likely to get worse, as more than 90 percent of future population growth is projected for the less developed countries.

The continent with the most rapid population growth, Africa, is actually growing poorer. African's per capita gross domestic product of $510 is only 89 percent of the 1960 level. Per capita calorie intake is 20 percent below that of 1960. Every third person in Africa is chronically malnourished. The doubling time of Africa's population is 28 years. Average desired family size in sub-Saharan Africa is five children per couple.

Just as population growth contributes to poverty, population stabilization has often contributed to rapid improvements in per capita economic conditions and overall quality of life. All of the countries that have moved from developing status to developed status since World War II, according to U.N. criteria, had brought their fertility rates down close to replacement level around the times their economies began to take off. These include South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Barbados and The Bahamas.

Environmental Threats

The expansion of human activity and associated loss of habitat are the leading causes of the unprecedented extinctions of plant and animal species worldwide. The loss of biological diversity leads to instability of ecological systems, particularly those that are stressed by climate change or invasion of non-native species.

Massive rural to urban migration in much of the developing world has overwhelmed water treatment systems, resulting in water pollution that leads to intolerable health conditions for many people.

Despite this migration, rural populations are also growing, leading to overuse of land and resultant erosion of hillsides and silting of rivers, as typified by Madagascar, Nepal and Haiti.
The same pressures are hastening the destruction of vast forest areas and loss of wildlife habitat. The loss of forests also reduces the ability of the ecosystem to combat global warming. Carbon dioxide that would be absorbed by trees instead stays in the atmosphere.
On a global basis, emissions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, are rising rather than falling, despite the international agreements designed to reduce emissions. Given this trend, many scientists believe that global warming will accelerate during this century, with consequences including rising sea levels, growing weather severity, and disruption of agriculture.

Greenhouse gas emissions are increasing in developing countries, where populations are expanding most rapidly. In some of these countries, energy consumption and production of greenhouse gases is rising on a per capita basis as the countries' economies expand. In most, there is an understandable desire to increase living standards by increasing production and per capita consumption of energy and resources. Median projections of expanding economic activity in developing countries indicate that the developing world will be producing more greenhouse gases than the developed countries by the year 2020. At the same time, the developed countries are generally failing to make progress on reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, in part because of continuing population increases, especially in the United States.

Given the trends in population, energy and resource consumption, combined with technological innovations, the adverse human impact on the global ecosystem could triple or quadruple by the year 2050.

Too MUCH!!!

The world's population is growing by nearly 80 million people per year. While population growth rates have slowed since their peak in the 1960s, the numbers being added to the population each year continue to be huge, in part because of the growth in the numbers of people of reproductive age. At current rates of birth and death, the world's population is on a trajectory to double in 49 years.

The median projection of population size by the U.N. Population Division envisions that population growth rates will decline over the coming several decades. But even if that median projection is achieved, the number of people expected to be added to the world's population in the next 50 years will be almost as large as the number added in the last 50 years.

That magnitude of increase, coming on top of the unprecedented growth that has occurred in the last half-century, will be felt in all aspects of life. It will further stress already strained ecological systems and worsen poverty in much of the developing world, thus aggravating threats to international security.