Earth Population Counter

A short history of our population boom

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TheWorldCounts, 15 April, 2014

A short history of our population boom

Before the advances on health and safety measures and before the industrial boom, the human population grew very slowly. We were threatened by many factors that we couldn’t fight yet such as diseases and changes in the weather. Our life expectancy was short. After the Black Death and the Great Famine in 1350, our population was only at 350 million. It was only in the year 1804 that our population reached the 1 billion mark. Today, the number of human beings on Earth is at 7.2 billion plus and counting.  It required only 40 years for our population to double after 1950. By the year 2050, it is expected to be between 8 billion to 12 billion. (1)

What happened?

Actually a good thing happened which caused a rise in human population. You can look at it positively or negatively, depending on the perspective you’re viewing it from. During the Industrial Revolution that took place in North America and Europe, we made wonderful advances in Science and Technology. This resulted in:

An improvement in the way we produced our food and its distribution

Sophisticated machinery enabled us to plant and harvest more grains. At that time, food reached more people due to improved distribution. 

Effect:  More food. Less people died from hunger

A rise in public health awareness

A greater number of the population had access to safe drinking water and housing problems were addressed

Effect: Safer drinking water supply and housing projects. Less death from diseases due to unsafe drinking water – such as cholera. Adequate housing protected people from the elements.

Advancement in Medical Science

Vaccines and antibiotics were discovered. The importance of nutrition was given attention.

Effect: Children who would’ve died 100 years ago due to sickness, can now live to an old age. People were vaccinated against infections and we found a way to cure those who got sick. (2)

Sounds good but...

When the revolution in public health awareness and medical science happened, it was a miracle of sorts. We found a way to live longer. However, the positive effects mentioned above took a turn when the birth rate started exceeding the death rate by a significant margin.

The consequence of the population explosion strained our natural resources. Since the population of less developed countries grew faster, poverty became rampant. The economy couldn’t keep up with the needs of the people. Across the world, there is a greater demand for our natural sources and now they’re being depleted faster than ever.

Promote Family Planning

It begins with you and family. Help raise awareness and spread the word about the need to control the growth of our population. Practice Family Planning and plan the number of children you can comfortably support. Learn about contraceptives and further your education. Though the idea of family planning has spread across the globe, the response has been less than encouraging. Our greatest hurdle is ignorance of the consequences and the alternatives. We can’t expect our governments to do all the work. The Earth Population Counter is moving too fast for our economies to catch up. Help create awareness and educate others on the importance of family planning to their quality of life. You can make a difference.

References

  1. Wikipedia: World Population
  2. Yale: New Have Teachers Institute – The Population Explosion; Causes and Consequences
  3. Annenberg Learner - Unit 5: Human Population Dynamics // Section 4: World Population Growth Through History

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