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Home | Friday 23rd September 2011 | Issue 789

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The 7 billionth human to come kicking and screaming into the world is due before the end of this year. Whilst a shocking stat when you consider there were only around 3 billion in 1960, it seems we have now reached “peak child”.

Although in the world’s poorest countries (Afghanistan, most of Africa etc) populations are booming and women still average 6 kids each, globally the number of children being born each year has stabilised. In virtually all of Europe and North America, and most of Latin America, and Asia (a list including China, Thailand, Iran, Tunisia and Brazil), fertility rates are down to less than two sprogs per woman - therefore not high enough to replace the parents. .

Earth’s parasitical infestation will continue to grow for another few decades, however, because the new kids will be sharing space with billions of longer-lived old folks. It won’t be until the next generation (around 2050) that the population will stabilise at 9 billion.

Short of the Rapture (or rising sea levels, or mass drought, nuclear war, Peak Oil, the next AIDS/H5N1 Flu-type epidemic or Asteroid hit) there isn’t really much that will change this; so expect Peak Human sometime in the next few decades...

Hard though, not to be galled when considering the scale of tragedy involved if conditions or events force the return of World population to pre-industrial revolution levels (1bn), post-bubonic plague levels (350m), pre-agricultural levels (1m) or ice-age levels (15,000). Gulp.


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