Earth’s population to hit 9.8 billion people by 2050

Earth would be inhabited by 9.8 billion people by 2050, asserts the Population Reference Bureau’s 2017 World Population Data Sheet.

This represents an increase of 31 percent on the estimated 7.5 billion people that live on Earth today, according to its release copied to the Ghana News Agency.

It predicted Africa’s population is expected to swell to 2.6 billion by 2050, more than double the current figure — comprising 57 per cent of the global population increase from now until then.

The population of Asia will grow by 750 million to reach 5.2 billion, while the population of the Americas will increase from one billion to 1.2 billion.

It said India is set to displace China as the world’s most populous country, increasing to 1.7 billion people from 1.35 billion. The nation is expected to record the largest population increase of any single country over the next 33 years.

Meanwhile, Europe’s population (including all of Russia) will see a slight decline, shrinking to 736 million from 745 million.

It indicates population growth throws up some thorny questions for the human race.

It noted “We are currently using about 1.7 times the resources we should be in a given year, and that problem is only going to get worse if the increases predicted for the next three decades come to fruition.”

Noted naturalist Sir David Attenborough has described humans as a “plague” on the planet, while Professor Stephen Hawking has argued that we need to find another world to live on because we are quickly running out of space here. Even Elon Musk has spoken out about the risks of overpopulation.

The fact of the matter is that there’s no easy fix. Overpopulation is a complex ethical issue, one caused in part by medical advances that most would point to as crowning scientific achievements. Infant mortality is low, and people are living longer than ever.

It said existing efforts such as vertical farms, innovative city planning, and emissions limits can help us cope with the burden of this growing population, but this latest report makes it ever more clear that we need to think very carefully about the resources we consume as we share the planet with billions of other residents now and in the future.

Source: GNA

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