5 February 2013, 16:16

Demography today

Demography today

The world population has topped 7 billion. In their forecasts of the future demographers are divided into 2 camps. Some of them say that in view of the overpopulation mankind may feel the deficit of natural resources. Others, on the contrary, say that a tendency towards the deceleration of the population growth rates is visible today.

Having overcome the mark of 7billion, the world population continues to grow. In view of the above-mentioned some mass media have started sending alarming signals. For example, the newspaper “Los Angeles Times” makes a gloomy conclusion, saying that in view of the overpopulation, the living conditions of the overwhelming majority of people will be sorrowful in the future. The leading scholar at the Institute of Demography (Russia) Nikita Mkrtchyan has a similar opinion. What’s more, the population growth poses a threat to the world’s existence, he says.

"The world is taking care of its self-preservation while people are sending challenges to it. I mean global warming and the destruction of natural environment. Mankind should either halt its growth or find ecologically correct decisions to ensure its self-sustainment in the future."

Scientists say that mankind needed 13 years to ensure an increase in population from 6 to 7 billion while the people were waiting for the birth of a 6 billionth baby for one year less. Taking into account the arguments presented by the supporters of the theory of the deceleration of the population growth rates, one can come to the conclusion that it is not the overpopulation that matters here. Demographic degradation will become the main problem in the future, chief of the information-analytical portal www.demographia.ru Igor Beloborodov says.

"Our problems are caused by the super-low birth-rate as well as by the destruction of traditional family values, which earlier ensured human history and generation renewal. The latter are insufficient today. The point is that the total world increase in population growth, factually, is ensured by 39 African states. Now let’s take Europe. We’ll see an alarming demographic dynamism there. The birth-rate has dropped by more than 2 times over the past 40 years there."

NARRATOR: The birth-rate should remain high enough for years to come, to enable mankind to survive numerous epidemics, wars and starvation. At a certain moment, thanks to the development of new technologies, the death-rate in Europe and North America went down. The population started increasing fast but later the birth –rate sharply dropped. There may be a repeat of this scheme. For example, in the countries with a high birth-rate – such as Brazil, India and Mexico – the birth-rate decreased by 2 to 3 times over the past 15 years. Specialists call this a demographic transition (DT). Should the world birth-rate become stabilized at the mark of 1.5 per woman as a result, which is currently the norm in Europe, it is very unlikely that the world population will exceed 1 billion in 300 years.

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