World population to hit 10 billion

Posted on October 27, 2011

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The world’s population of seven billion is set to rise to at least 10 billion by 2100, but could top 15 billion if birth rates are just slightly higher than expected, the United Nations said yesterday.

In a report ahead of ceremonies on October 31 to mark the seven billionth human alive today, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) warned demographic pressure posed mighty challenges for easing poverty and conserving the environment.

“This is a challenge and a call to action. The issue of population is a critical one for all humanity and for planet Earth,” Babatunde Osotimehin, the UNFPA’s executive director, said at the launch of the report in London.

But he said that the world should focus on how to make the world a better place to live instead of worrying only about numbers.

“This is not a matter of space, it’s a matter of equity, opportunity and social justice,” he told journalists.

He called for a focus on the rights of women and young people to help keep the global population in check.

“From the Arab Spring to the sit-ins at Wall Street, people are demanding change and young people in particular,” he said. “Educating and empowering girls and women allows them to have fewer children than their mothers and grandmothers did.”

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