Population Growth and Sustainability

For my data selection, I chose to examine world population graphs. Below, we see the graph of the changing population from 1750 to the projected population in year 2100. The red line that we see in this graph shows the annual growth rate of the world population. This line expresses how growth was relatively between .4%-.6% from 1750 up through 1930, but after the baby boom post WWII, population growth shot up exponentially. Now, with less people having babies and the population is unable to replenish itself, population growth is now slowing at an exponential rate as well. There are several reasons for this–more women are joining the work force and are either waiting to have kids, having less kids, or not having kids at all. Some women choose not to have children at all due to their perception of the world in its current state, which is something I learned from my political science class this past spring. The other curve seen on this graph is the blue curve of the world population. The dark blue shaded in section represents the actual population growth from 1750 up to 2015. The lighter blue shaded in region represents the projected population growth from 2015 up to the year 2100. The population is still increasing, but at a much slower rate than in the past, which is why the slope of the projected population growth is much less steep than the slope of population growth from 1945 to 2015. This relates to sustainability because our current population growth is not sustainable for our Earth. This is partially due to the amount of food we need to grow to feed this giant population, and the amount of land that we need but do not have to efficiently grow food on (not all land is good for growing crops). This also relates to my research from last week discussing the problems with eating meat, as this population size is not sustainable for having humans be able to consume meat (which the practice of raising the meat in itself isn’t sustainable as well).

Link to article here.

3 thoughts on “Population Growth and Sustainability

  1. What shocks me most about this graph is the rate of the population increasing. There is quite an obvious growth after the baby boom, which you mentioned, and it actually puts into perspective the severity of the population issue. Also, the fact that our current sustainability practices aren’t in line with the projected population for years to come. I wonder what efforts people are attempting to make to fix this problem.

  2. I think you bring up some really good points. It is clear that the world population has grown significantly at an exponential rate. These growth rates are clearly not sustainable. I think it is interesting to see that the growth rate is slowing and the reasons you suggest are completely true. How we can approach a more sustainable future in terms of the world population?

  3. Emily great post. I am personally interested in Real Estate and the population growth highly correlates with the demand of people who are looking for homes/apartments especially in developing cities which in turn effects the price that the units go for. Also, this post made me wonder about China, which has a population over 1.3 billion people and the laws they have in place to limit the amount of children that are allowed per household. Hopefully we can reach a solution to this problem.

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