I was looking at a reading of the latest world population data sheet published annually by the Population Reference Bureau, an organization that has been meticulously gathering demographic data since 1929. Any figures used here referring to this data, come from the data sheet.

One set of facts that can be derived from this data, show clearly the differences in population growth between the developed and relatively underdeveloped world economies. While the world has, as of this summer, 7.8 billion people, the developed world has roughly 1.27 billion people and the less developed world has over 6.5 billion people. The trend in world population points to significant increases in the population of the already large underdeveloped world. Their rate of natural increase, the difference between the crude birth rate and the crude death rate, is 1.4 percent compared to a rate of 0 percent for the developed world. This has not deterred parts of the less developed world from adding significant amounts of population.

Africa is a good example of these additions. Its rate of natural increase is 2.6 percent. The projection for its population is rapid growth – increasing 41 percent from 1.34 billion to 1.89 billion by mid-2035. Therefore, the pattern that is easily discernible in the growth of world population persists: nations that are relatively poor continue to have significant population growth. Those countries that do experience this growth are faced with the task of housing, educating, employing and providing healthcare for their populations. So far, the solutions to these problems have generally escaped the underdeveloped countries, and the suffering will continue.

One of the things that can be done now is to improve and make more efficient the family planning methods used by low-income countries. In order to do that, the relatively poor countries have to allocate more resources towards developing these solutions, helping those who want to have fewer children realize that goal. This is no easy task. Underdeveloped countries are and will be in need of introducing these latest and most productive methods of birth control, but that does not mean that those who have a need for those methods will welcome them. Those who own small family farms have a consistent need to employ family labor resources. Accordingly, they might not welcome some of those proposals that limit these resources.

Any discussion of trends in world population would be incomplete without considering the population changes in India and China. Both nations have approximately 1.40 billion people, and the 2.8 billion total represents about 28.5 percent of the world’s population. Projections of their population show that India will have over 1.57 billion in 2035. Their rate of natural increase, 0.9 percent, will indeed produce consistent population growth. China’s rate of natural increase, 0.3 percent, is significantly below that of India. Accordingly, China will fall further behind India in total population in the near future. It is worth mentioning that both these nations have taken significant steps to control population growth. Still, it is noteworthy to realize that they will continue to suffer from the problems that plagued economically developing nations in the 20th century and still continue to concern those nations in the 21st century.

Continual population growth and increased urbanization complicates the struggle against COVID-19. Taking proper steps such as hand washing, social distancing and increasing the use of masks, becomes more difficult. The developing nations need all the help they can get to control population growth and to control COVID-19.

Author and educator Dave Kaplan writes from his home in Santa Barbara, Calif.

(19) comments

David Collins

They are doing this to themselves and like the lemmings of Disney , will suffer the same fate .

A quite similar thing is happening in our inner cities as we speak . Father of 9 with no means of support , mothers with five or more in same situation . Planned Parenthood was created for a reason .

drewski

If you look at that data on a graph 1900 to projected 2050 one can see without some drastic change ...its going to end badly.

mpjeep

Population control, in underdeveloped countries, by passing out literature and contraceptives, is certainly not working.

China implemented a policy to control its population: a one child per family policy. How’s that working for them?

In India, women are “encouraged” to get sterilized, after their second child. How’s that working for them?

Africa, makes no sellable goods, are the beggars of the world and unable to care of their own. Way too much amour and affection going on there. How’s that working for them?

The real solution is mandatory sterilization.

drewski

Zeig heil!

mpjeep

Ouch!

mpjeep

Hey, I was just responding to the Writer’s, and Al Gore’s, concern for fixing the population explosion.

Just stating that passing out literature, making speeches, giving away free condoms and birth control pills, was not going to fix their concerns. Not my concerns, but theirs.

Not my recommendation, but only one way to fix it, as I pointed out.

drewski

That sounds like backpedaling to me, I guess your contention is that birth control pills and condoms are ineffective? Hint, there are decades of research on both, their effectiveness is well known. Throwing in al gore was fairly typical. bill gates is also concerned with overpopulation. Can we all just agree that science, logic, reason, and proven facts are just another liberal hoax, designed to "get" president Trump?

David Collins

At least your thought was printed , mp . Mine was twittered , again .

mpjeep

White privilege.

mpjeep

You know you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. Same point I was making with passing out condoms and birth control pills.

David Collins

Birth control measures are only effective if they are used . That is mp’s point and you know it . Could go into details , why they are not allowed , but doubt they would be allowed to be printed .

drewski

Somehow I doubt the expert commentators of the NT have accurate data on prevalence or availability of birth control in 3rd world countries. Infant mortality, religious doctrine, and an agrarian lifestyle are likely considerations as well. Demographics is an interesting study, half the population of Saudi is under 30, current birthrate in Japan .. well its a seriously aging population.

David Collins

Do not think that Saudi and Japan are the subjects of this piece . They are hardly the beggars of the world .

JusticeForAll

This is pretty much what David Attenborough documents. We can not sustain the path we are on without dire consequences.

David Collins

Yes he does , Justice , and where do his shows largely focus on ? Starts with A and ends with a .

One of the few shows my daughter allows her children to watch and the BBC puts out some great stuff . American networks should take notice .

JusticeForAll

Hope other parents will follow her lead. There is always hope.

David Collins

All depends on what sells . The almighty dollar has been known to influence . Hasn’t it ?

mpjeep

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ge5hv6dtJmA&ab_channel=EarthlingEd

dc

If nothing else mother natural will probably solve it. Dinosaurs?

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