Population Growth Alice Canapary


Currently, the world's population is growing at a rapid rate. This is caused by increased lifespan, lower risk of infant mortality and a decrease of malnutrition. As the world's population continues to increase, challenges will arise as a result. Some of these challenges include food shortages and overcrowding.

Food Shortages :

According to The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization the production of food needs to increase by 70% by 2050 in order to feed 9.3 million people. Climate change may effect the availability of natural resources, threatening the decrease of the productivity of crops. This may cause an increase of the number of malnourished people in the world, especially in Africa. One in five developing countries will face water shortages by 2030. This will also have a huge affect on food production.

Overcrowding :

The 21st century marks the first time that the majority of the world's population lives in urban areas. The number of "slum dwellers" is increasing, jeopardizing water and sanitation services. This creates a cycle of poverty and poor health. Many rural people are forced to move to cities because of lack of employment and services.

Part 2

The world's population is currently above 7.4 billion and expected to grow to 9.6 billion by 2050 according to the UNFPA. The amount of people and their demands will be very difficult to meet in the next 50 years. This graph shows different scenarios of the world population annual increase.

This graph shows different scenarios of the world population annual increase.

Lower Infant Mortality

The mortality rate of children under five has dropped from 12.7 million to 6.3 million deaths (in 2013) -- a decrease of more than half. If this trend continues, under-five mortality rates will reduce by two-thirds (since 1990) will be reached in 2026.

Infant Mortality Rate By Region, 1950 to 2050

Increasing Lifespan

The world's population over 60 is expected to increase from 12% in 2015 to 22% in 2050. Low and middle income countries are currently experiencing the greatest change of population aging. By 2050, Chile, China, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation will have about 30% of their population above the age of 60, a similar proportion to the current proportion of older people in Japan.

Decrease in Malnutrition

"Zero hunger would boost economic growth, reduce poverty and safeguard the environment. It would foster peace and stability" - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

Since 1990, 63 countries have reached the World Food Summit goal of cutting the proportion of malnourished people in half.

Number of undernourished (million)

The food security crisis is affecting simultaneously affecting large parts of the world, making it more challenging than previous ones. "The Roadmap to End Hunger" and "The Zero Hunger Challenge" are just two examples of plans to continue to decrease malnutrition while population increases.

Part 3

Population growth has a huge affect on China, the most populous country in the world.

Food Production

Due to deterioration caused by environmental factors, 40% of land is no longer suitable for growing crops. China has started buying land for food production in poor countries for food security.

Food Consumption

The dramatic acceleration of food consumption is an increasing problem in China. One example of this is the soybean crisis.

"In 1995, China was producing 14 million tons of soybeans and it was consuming 14 million tons. In2011, it was still producing 14 million tons of soybeans—but it was consuming70 million tons, meaning that 56 million tons had to be imported."-Lester Brown
A visual representation of the increasing consumption, production and imports of soybeans

Family Planning Policy

China developed a solution to overpopulation in 1979 -- a one child policy with some flexibility and exceptions. This policy prevented 400 million births according to the Chinese government.

This policy led to the Chinese population having less children and living longer. To prevent a bigger imbalance they began phasing out this policy by changing the law to a two child policy in 2015. There is also an issue between the imbalance of boy-to-girl ratio. Boys are typically preferred in Chinese culture and the one child policy has led many parents to use gender selective tests and sex-selective abortions although they are illegal. Currently, the boy-to-girl ratio is 119-100 while the global average is 107-100.

This graph represents China's gender gap


Created with images by Hans - "human crowds collection" • CDC Global Health - "Photo submitted by Remidius Kakulu – Tanzania." • Kimmo Räisänen - "The crowds" • AHLN - "Children" • sathyatripodi - "brothers family siblings" • tel13588006626 - "paternity baby child care" • Leroy_Skalstad - "people peoples homeless" • belajatiraihanfahrizi - "grandmother mother old" • alainlm - "old people on a bus" • Thomas Depenbusch - "Shanghai, China" • ming1967 - "Crowd."

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