UN study says world population could grow to
nearly 11 billion by 2050
U.S. Water News Online
LONDON -- World population could skyrocket to 10.9 billion
by mid-century if women don't receive better education, health care,
and access to birth control, a United Nations report says.
The U.N. Population Fund said women must also gain equal status
and rights to plan family size if the planet is to contain population
growth at 50 percent to 9.3 billion by 2050.
The report forecast all projected growth -- from a current 6.1
billion -- would take place in developing countries, intensifying
poverty, and environmental strains globally.
The report, "State of the World Population 2001," said the world
will be changed on an "unprecedented scale," with more people and
greater consumption degrading soil, polluting air and water, melting
ice caps, and destroying natural habits.
The world's 49 least-developed countries -- already the most
severely challenged by soil and water degradation and food shortages
-- will nearly triple in size, from 668 million to 1.86 billion, the
To feed the nearly 8 billion people expected by 2025 and to
improve their diets, the world will have to double food production
and improve distribution -- without relying on specialized
fertilizers and pesticides, which would further disturb the
ecological balance, the report said.
"Population growth, increasing affluence -- with rising
consumption, pollution and waste -- and persistent poverty are
putting increasing pressure on the environment," the report said.
The U.N. Population Fund, launched in 1969, helps developing
countries find solutions to their population problems. It has three
main program areas: reproductive health, including family planning
and sexual health; population and development strategies; and
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