"...AndAttai begat Nathan, and Nathan begat Zabad, and Zabad begat Ephlal, andEphlal begat Obed, and Obed begat Jehu, and also Jehu begat Azariah, and also Azariahbegat Helez, and also Helez begat Eleasah, and also Eleasah begat Sisamai, and Sisamaibegat Shallum, and Shallum begat Jakamiah, and also Jakamiah begat Elishama..."- The Bible,Chronicles

Past Human population Growth

In previous lectures, we have actually describedhow human social development was closely tied to changes in the naturalenvironment. Successive social revolutions, such as the agriculturalrevolution, have led come surges in population. Number 1 summarizes againthe historic record, typical of a "J-shaped" growth, with humans fillingnew niches and (perhaps) not yet reaching a limiting carryingcapacity. One feature to keep in mind in this plot is the absence of vast fluctuationsassociated v famines or wars. In fact, the nature the J-shaped (exponential)growth is such the episodic reductions because of such disasters usuallydo not impact the inexorable and also overpowering increase acceleration in populationsize. An exception is the duration of the "blackdeath" in Europe, which produced a noticeable but tiny downward spikein the curve. The wholesale ns of life early to civilization wars the the 20thcentury produced only small perturbations to the increase trend.

You are watching: Human population growth most closely resembles the s-shaped growth curve.

Figure 1: human PopulationGrowth end Time
The human populace growth of thelast century has been important phenomenal. It required only 40 year after1950 for the population to double from 2.5 exchange rate to 5 billion. This doublingtime is less than the average human lifetime. The world populace passed6 exchange rate just before the finish of the 20th century. Existing estimatesare because that the population to with 8-12 billion before the end of the 21stcentury. During each lecture hour, much more than 10,000 new people go into theworld, a price of ~3 per second!Of the 6 exchange rate people, around halflive in poverty and at the very least one 5th are severely undernourished. Therest live out their lives in to compare comfort and also health.The determinants affecting worldwide humanpopulation are an extremely simple. They room fertility, mortality, early population,and time. The currentgrowthrate that ~1.3% per year is smaller than the peak which emerged a fewdecades earlier (~2.1% per year in 1965-1970), but because this price acts ona much larger population base, the pure number of new people every year(~90 million) is in ~ an every time high. The stabilization of population willrequire a reduction in fertility globally. In the most optimistic view,this will take some time.


The existing growth of populace isdriven through fertility. Number 2 reflects how total fertility price is astrong duty of region. It can be conveniently seen that the much more developedcountries ("the North") have lower fertility prices than the less developedcountries ("the South"). The fertility prices in the developed world areclose come replacement levels (i.e., the populace is roughly stable), whilethe rates in the occurring world are much higher. Thus, populace growthand level of development are clearly linked.Figure 2: worldwide Total FertilityRates, 1990-1995Fertility is largely managed byeconomics and by person aspirations. The high fertility that the developingworld can be partially described by the huge number of hands needed toperform low-technology agricultural tasks. In these areas, family members withlarge number of kids realize an enhanced economic status. Together technologyimproves, parents realize that having more children decreases quite thanincreases their traditional of living. A dramatic instance of this effect occurredin Thailand, where, as shortly as parents realized the future financial statuswas linked to the secondary schooling (which is high value in Thailand),the fertility rate dropped from about 6 come 2 in a decade!

Population-Age Pyramids

While fertility prices are obviouslyuseful, the demographics that the existing populace are also importantand can provide crucial information to predict future expansion rates. An exampleof 2 such population-agepyramids is presented in figure 3.Figure 3: Population/Age Pyramidsof the Developed and also Developing WorldThe top number shows the population-agepyramid because that the developed world and the bottom number is for the developingworld. The figure illustrates the pyramids because that the year 1975 (pink) and2000 (blue). The population/age framework of the arisen world representsthat the a steady (or nearly stable) population. Here, the pyramid is morerectangular 보다 for a swiftly growing populace (bottom) where thereis a much larger number of young people. The bottom figure (typical forcountries prefer Mexico, Malaysia, India, etc.) is an ext triangular and also showshow a rapidly growing populace is overcame by young people. The femaleside of the diagram is particularly important in knowledge future growth.This is since fertility is largely controlled by the variety of femalesin their reproductive year (roughly eras 15 - 40).In the developing world, no onlyare there plenty of females qualified of reproduction, yet there are plenty of moreyoung females who room of potential mothers. Thus, the shape of the population-agepyramid because that the arising world suggests that the population will continueto thrive aggressively because that the close to future together the cohort of productive femalesgets larger each year, fed from the lower parts that the pyramid. It takesmany tens (perhaps hundreds) of years to steepen the slopes the the population-agepyramid. Together a steepening is essential before populations can become stable.Intensive initiatives to control populace have been enforced in variouscountries. In China, aggressive population control via a one-childfamily policy is happen remarkable readjust to age structure and also populationsize. Click herefor a brief case study and also dynamic graphic representation of China"s futurepopulation and food security.As have the right to be seen, the aggressive populationplanning policies in India (discussed additional in the following lecture) haveserved come steepen the pyramid - however only marginally so. The pyramid for1991 has a long means to go before it resembles the steady structure seenin the emerged world.Figure 4: Comparitive populace Pyramids forIndiaClearly, population control is achallenging task for which both persistence and patience will certainly be needed.


Mortality, or the fatality rate every individual,is another determining variable of populace growth. In the emerging world,the fatality rate has dropped, an ext or less continuously, since the startof the commercial revolution. The following number shows the slow, hardwon, palliation in fatality rate in assorted European countries. Personal hygieneand improved methods of sanitation have played a significant role and also precededthe impact of modern-day medicine and, in particular, the breakthrough of antibioticscapable the reducing fatality due come infection. The downward tendency of the deathrate is usual to most countries, although there space some countries (forexample, Russia) where the fatality rate continues to be high and also refuses come moveappreciably.Figure 5: death Rates per1000 over Time
The combination of to decrease deathrate because of the march of development in sanitation and also medicine, coupled withthe diminish in birth rate due to alters in the economies, has led toa profound readjust in the populace growth curve in the emerged world.This change is referred to as the demography Transition.

The demographic Transition

This is the name provided to the processthat has emerged during the previous century, resulting in a stabilization ofpopulation growth in the an ext highly emerged countries. The DemographicTransition is displayed schematically in figure 6. It is typically characterizedas having 4 separate phases or stages.Figure 6: The DemographicTransitionStage 1. In this early stageof the demographic change in Europe, birth rates and death prices areboth high. Modern medicine had actually not yet occurred techniques come lengthenlife substantially and standards of personal hygiene to be comparativelylow. Both rates fluctuated relying on circumstances.No demographic transitionhas occured.Stage 2. In this stage, standardsof hygiene and more contemporary medical techniques began to journey the deathrate down, leading to a significant upward trend in populace size. Thebirth price remained high, as lot of the economy was based on agriculture.Mexico is at this time between this and also the following stage.Stage 2 and 3are indicative that a partial or an initial demographic transition.Stage 3. Urbanizationdecreases the economic incentives for big families. The price of supportingan urban family members grew and also parents were an ext actively discouraged from havinglarge families. In solution to these financial pressures, the bear ratestarted to drop, eventually coming close come the death rate. In the meantime,however, the increased populace in Europe brought about tremendous societalpressures the caused large scale migrate (e.g., to the USA) and also extensiveglobal colonialization.Stage 4. The last phase ofthe demographic change in Europe was characterized by a higher, butstable, population size. Birth and death rates were both reasonably lowand the conventional of living came to be much higher than during the earlier periods.The arisen world continues to be in the fourth stage of its demography transition.A good example that a nation in this phase is Sweden. At stage 4, we speakof countries having perfect the second or a full demographic transition.The demographic change did notoccur overnight in Europe. It is anticipated the a change like thiswill take place in all nations as they come to be further developed. However,time (many decades) will certainly be required for the birth and death rates to equilibrate- during which time the populace will proceed to prosper rapidly.The demography data from the variouscountries the the world has to be analyzed by plenty of separate entities, includingthe unified Nations. Figure 7 mirrors the meant future growth curve. Mostof the future development will happen in the emerging world together each countrystruggles come go v a demographic change of their own. This particularprojection reflects a total populace approaching 9 exchange rate by the year 2050.The projected curve much more closely each other a sigmoidal (logistic) or "S-shaped"curve.Click on image to enlargeFigure 7: Projected WorldPopulation GrowthBecause most occurred countrieshave undergone a complete demographic transition, and also have low populationgrowth rate, their numbers increase tiny over the present. In contrast,developing nations with their high populace growth price will comprisea larger and also larger fraction of the world populations.

Future worldwide Population Growth

Anyone that examines world populationgrowth over the previous two centuries certainly must it is in astounded, and also quitepossibly alarmed. The worldwide population got to one billion in 1804.In 1927, some 123 years later, it passed two billion. Sixty yearslater, in 1987, the world populace was 5 billion, and also 12 years later,in October 1999, it is approximated to have passed 6 billion. Smallwonder that plenty of are concerned around what this bodes for our future.Due to the momentum represented by steeply pyramidal period distributions,population development surely will proceed for one to number of generations.Most of that growth will happen in developing nations. One eventualworld population of 8-12 exchange rate is supposed by the end of the century.But estimates readjust frequently.According to a report from the UnitedNations populace Fund, based on 1998 analyses (see TheState that World populace 1999), projections for the future globalpopulation room being amendment downward. The forecast for 2050 nowis 8.9 billion (medium variant), substantially lower than the 1996 projectionof 9.4 billion.The major reason because that the reduced projectionis great news: an international fertility rates have declined an ext rapidly than expected,as wellness care, consisting of reproductive health, has improved quicker thananticipated, and also men and also women have chosen to have smaller families.About one-third that the reduction in long-range populace projections,however, is due to increasing mortality prices in sub-Saharan Africa andparts that the Indian subcontinent. The most essential factor is HIV/AIDS,which is dispersing much faster than formerly anticipated.The HIV/AIDS epidemic is having adevastating effect on Africa. Approximates released in 1998 by UNAIDS andthe human being Health Organization indicate that global HIV infections increased10 every cent in 1998 come 33.4 million human being worldwide. In 1999 alone, anestimated 5.8 million civilization contracted the virus that reasons AIDS. Fig.8 shows the likely impact of AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa, comparingpopulation projections with and without AIDS in the 29 most-affected countries,1980-2050.
Figure 8.

Changing distribution of civilization Population

Populations in specific regions willgrow; elsewhere, person numbers will certainly stabilize or also decline. In ~ countries,populations will proceed to shift from landscape to city areas, when becomingincreasingly larger and better educated. Migration in between countries willbe an increasingly necessary factor in international relations and also thecomposition of nationwide populations.Fig 7 shows the local make-upof the world population, 1950-2050. Clearly, the portion that livesin less-developed areas will dominate, continuing a trend that alreadyis well underway. In 1960, 70 every cent the the globalpopulation lived in less-developed regions. By late 1999, the less-developedregions had actually grown to consist of 80 per cent. That the projected growthof the world population by 2025, 98 per cent will happen in this regions.Africa, v an median fertilityrate exceeding five kids per woman during the whole period, has actually grownthe fastest amongst regions. Over there are virtually three time as countless Africansalive now (767 million) together there to be in 1960. Asia, by much the mostpopulous region, has much more than double in dimension (to over 3.6 billion), ashas Latin America and also the Caribbean. In contrast, the population of NorthernAmerica has actually grown by just 50 every cent, and Europe’s has actually increased by only20 per cent and also is now about stable.A worldwide trend in the direction of urbanizationalso is taking place. The world’s urban populace is farming by60 million a year, around three times the rise in the landscape population(Fig. 9).Themovement of people towards urban has accelerated in the previous 40 years,particularly in the less-developed regions, and also the share of the globalpopulation life in urban areas has enhanced from one 3rd in 1960 to47 per cent (2.8 billion people) in 1999. Increasing urbanizationresults around equally from births in city areas and from the continuedmovement of world from countryside regions. Through 2030, it is expected thatnearly 5 exchange rate (61 per cent) the the world’s 8.1 billion civilization will livein cities. (see great on Migrationand Urbanization)Globally, the number of cities with10 million or much more inhabitants is raising rapidly, and also most that thesenew "megacities" room in the less-developed regions. In 1960, only brand-new Yorkand Tokyo had more than 10 million people. Through 1999, the variety of megacitieswas 17, 13 in less-developed regions. The is projected that there will certainly be26 megacities by 2015, 22 in less-developed regions (18 will be in Asia);more 보다 10 every cent of the world’s populace will live in these cities,up from simply 1.7 every cent in megacities in 1950.

Is over there a transporting Capacity because that Homosapiens?

As we have actually seen, the person populationgrowth curve is currently following one exponential curve or a "J-shape"(fig. 1). Common sense tells us that such growth cannot proceed - otherwisewithin a few hundred year every square foot of the smashville247.net"s surface ar wouldbe taken up by a human. Furthermore, endure with other types tellsus that, ultimately, resource limitations and/or habitat degradation willforce the human populace curves to method an top limit or asymptote- the moving capacity, frequently symbolized together " K" by ecologists. It isvery organic to asking the attached questions - walk humanity have a carryingcapacity and, if so, what is the - and when will we reach or overshoot thislimit?JoelCohen"s recent book on person carrying capacity summarizes the continuinglack of scientific agreement on the subject. Estimates of the number stillvary extensively according to the certain assumptions used. In fact, the estimatesare an ext scattered than prior to - denote a quantitative ar stillvery lot in its infancy. One strand of thought, represented by the authorJulianSimon discards the id of a person carrying volume altogether,claiming the the extr people will provide sufficient creativityand innovation to break with any feasible natural obstacles to humanpopulation growth. Most of the serious estimates of K because that humans, however,lie in the selection 10 -20 exchange rate people.There space no easy answers come thequestions: “How many human being can the planet support?”, and also “At whatlevel the well-being?”. Cohen suggests we think in regards to threepossible (and non-exclusive) solutions:Make a bigger pie: Increase human productivecapacities through technology and innovationPut under forks on the table: Reducenumbers and also expectations of world through such way as family planningand vegetarian dietsTeach better manners: adjust the termsof people’s interactions through boosted planning and also government to enhancesocial justice.


Human population exhibits one J-shapedgrowth curve, and also is accelerating.Age pyramids are crucial descriptorsof a population’s recent background and medium-term future. Population growthrates are highly dependent top top level of development.A decline in both death and also birth ratesis referred to as a complete demographic transition. Many current and future development is taking place in occurring countries, which have experienced just a partial demography transition.

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said Readings

Ehrlich, P. And also Erhlich, A. 1990. ThePopulation Explosion. New York: Simon and also Schuster.Gallant, R. 1990. The Peopling the thePlanet smashville247.net. New York: Macmillian posting Company.Gore, A. 1992. smashville247.net in the Balance.New York: houghton Mifflin Company.

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