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Population growth in the 21st century: Cause for crisis or celebration?

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Between now and the end of the next century, the population of the planet is projected to grow from 5.7 billion to somewhere between 9 and 16 billion. In the next 25 years, continued rapid growth is inescapable because of the youthful age structures of many countries. Beyond that point much depends on fertility trends in the coming decades. Continued population growth does not make inevitable any global catastrophe but it will exacerbate greatly problems of underemployment. The prognosis for further fertility declines is good, because the communications revolution is hastening the spread of new ideas and political attitudes are becoming favourable.

Keywords: contraception; demography; economic development; education; fertility; population; status of women

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: Centre for Population Studies, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London UK

Publication date: 1996-02-01

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