The Candidates’ Other Demographic Challenge

It is massively larger than 11 million illegals.

Hans Rosling, co-founder of Gapminder, calls it “the biggest change of our time”. It is Africa’s population growth from 1 billion people today to 2.5 billion by 2050 and 4 billion by 2100.

You could say that a close “second biggest change of our time” is the aging and stagnation of the population in rich countries. The combined population of North America, Europe, Japan and Australia/New Zealand is now at 1.3 billion and it will remain at 1.3 billion by 2050 and 2100 with small gains in North America and Oceania offset by declines in Europe and Japan. Read more

UN Warns of Looming Worldwide Food Crisis in 2013

JOHN VIDAL writes in the OBSERVER:

• Global grain reserves hit critically low levels
• Extreme weather means climate ‘is no longer reliable’
• Rising food prices threaten disaster and unrest

World grain reserves are so dangerously low that severe weather in the United States or other food-exporting countries could trigger a major hunger crisis next year, the United Nations has warned.

Failing harvests in the US, Ukraine and other countries this year have eroded reserves to their lowest level since 1974. The US, which has experienced record heatwaves and droughts in 2012, now holds in reserve a historically low 6.5% of the maize that it expects to consume in the next year, says the UN. READ MORE.

India’s Aging Population Vulnerable to Infectious Diseases

SOHINI DAS reports in the BUSINESS STANDARD:

As a large number of India’s population moves towards the 50 plus bracket, The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Report 2012 shows that in the absence of proper healthcare infrastructure and adult vaccination programmes, the elderly population in the country are highly vulnerable to infectious diseases.

India’s population is undergoing a dramatic transition, the report says adding that the proportion of older people is expected to rise three- to four-fold in the next 40 years. India’s population of people aged 65 and over will be second only to China’s. Even conservative estimates predict that the number of people aged 60 and over will reach 323 million by 2050. By then, people in their fifties are expected to account for 30% of the population, while those in their sixties will make up 20%. READ MORE.

Ex-Apple Boss Tackles Poverty in India with Mobile Technology

NAOMI CANTON writes at CNN.COM:

In Juanga, India, a village of less than 3,000 inhabitants, the adults typically work as farmers on small plots of land earning less than $2 a day. They live in extended families in two or three roomed bamboo thatched mud huts, surviving on rice and dahl.

Unable to see the value of education, the parents typically take their children out of school before they turn 16 to earn money. Women frequently deny themselves trips to health clinics and they lack knowledge of basic preventative healthcare measures.

They also lack basics such as drinking water, electricity, food, healthcare and infrastructure, but cell phone towers are often ubiquitous.

One American non-profit organization is using this proliferation of phone masts to bring empowering mobile technology to these destitute villagers. READ MORE.

 

Nine Out of 10 Latin Americans Will Live in Cities by 2050

Region is already the world’s most urbanized, with 80 percent of the population living in cities. 

FROM FOX NEWS LATINO:

RIO DE JANEIRO –  Almost nine out of every 10 people in Latin America will live in a city by the year 2050, and the region should use this moment of economic stability and slower population growth to make those cities more equitable, said a UN report issued Tuesday.

The report by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme said the region is already the world’s most urbanized, with 80 percent of the population living in cities. This growth came at a cost: it was “traumatic and at times violent because of its speed, marked by the deterioration of the environment and above all, by a deep social inequality,” the report said.

“The main challenge is how to develop in a way that curbs the enormous inequalities that exist within cities,” said Erik Vittrup, the head of human settlements of UN-Habitat’s regional office for Latin America and the Caribbean. “There are other cities that have been through these urban transformations and don’t have this level of inequality. It goes against the economic model in Latin America. Cities didn’t grow more inclusive; the prosperity wasn’t for everyone.” READ MORE.

LA Times: Beyond 7 Billion

KENNETH R. WEISS at THE LOS ANGELES TIMES explores the Population Boom in a five-part series:

After remaining stable for most of human history, the world’s population has exploded over the last two centuries. The boom is not over: The biggest generation in history is just entering its childbearing years. The coming wave will reshape the planet, and the impact will be greatest in the poorest, most unstable countries.

Part 1: The biggest generation

Nigeria Ranks High On Infant, Maternal Mortality Index

DAMILOLA OYEDELE writes in ALLAFRICA:

Abuja — Nigeria still ranks high the list of countries with high maternal and infant mortality rates with a ratio of 545 per 100,000 live births on the maternal mortality index and 75 per 1000 live births on the infant mortality index; these figures are from the UN World Population Prospects and the Institute for Health Metric Reports (2010).

Chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC), Chief Festus Odimegwu, who disclosed this while speaking at a press conference to commemorate this year’s World Population Day (WPD), added that the Federal Government had budgeted $3m annually to provide free family planning facilities for Nigerians.

Although some progress had been made since the release of the report, he said a lot more still needed to be done to prevent the avoidable deaths; stressing that only 58 per cent women had access to ante-natal care.

Odimegwu, who represented by the NPC Commissioner in the FCT, Mr. Sani Suleiman, outlined grim statistics of the health status of reproductive women aged between 15 and 49 in Nigeria. READ MORE.

Bjørn Lomborg: Environmental Alarmism, Then and Now

BJORN LOMBORG WRITES IN FOREIGN AFFAIRS:

The Club of Rome’s Problem — and Ours.

Forty years ago, humanity was warned: by chasing ever-greater economic growth, it was sentencing itself to catastrophe. The Club of Rome, a blue-ribbon multinational collection of business leaders, scholars, and government officials brought together by the Italian tycoon Aurelio Peccei, made the case in a slim 1972 volume called The Limits to Growth. Based on forecasts from an intricate series of computer models developed by professors at MIT, the book caused a sensation and captured the zeitgeist of the era: the belief that mankind’s escalating wants were on a collision course with the world’s finite resources and that the crash would be coming soon.

The Limits to Growth was neither the first nor the last publication to claim that the end was nigh due to the disease of modern development, but in many ways, it was the most successful. Although mostly forgotten these days, in its own time, it was a mass phenomenon, selling 12 million copies in more than 30 languages and being dubbed “one of the most important documents of our age” by The New York Times. And even though it proved to be phenomenally wrong-headed, it helped set the terms of debate on crucial issues of economic, social, and particularly environmental policy, with malign effects that remain embedded in public consciousness four decades later. It is not too great an exaggeration to say that this one book helped send the world down a path of worrying obsessively about misguided remedies for minor problems while ignoring much greater concerns and sensible ways of dealing with them. READ MORE.

US Census Report: The Foreign-Born Population in the United States

The US Census Bureau released new information on foreign-born households in America from its report The Foreign-Born Population in the United States: 2010.

The U.S. Census Bureau reported today that foreign-born households are, on average, larger than native households, have more children under age 18, and are more likely to be multigenerational.

The average size of foreign-born households (3.4 people) was larger than that of native-born households (2.5 people). About 62 percent of foreign-born family households included children under 18, compared with 47 percent of native-born households. Multigenerational households, with three or more generations living together, were more common among foreign-born (10 percent) than native-born (5 percent) family households. read more.

In addition to the report [PDF] released today, the Census Bureau recently released three briefs about the foreign-born population: The Newly Arrived Foreign-Born Population of the United States: 2010 [PDF], The Foreign-Born With Science and Engineering Degrees: 2010 [PDF] and The Foreign Born from Latin America and the Caribbean: 2010 [PDF]. These briefs, based on 2010 American Community Survey results, also provide a look at the differences in the characteristics of the foreign-born. A complete list of all Census Bureau publications on the foreign-born population in the United States is accessible here: http://www.census.gov/population/foreign/.

Bjørn Lomborg: How To Get Food on Every Table

Bjørn Lomborg writes in Slate:

We have enough food to feed everyone. But we need to produce even more. Here is why.

The problem of hunger can be solved. The planet creates more than enough food to meet everyone’s needs. But there are still about 925 million hungry people in the world, and nearly 180 million preschool-age children do not get vital nutrients.

In 2008, the last global Copenhagen Consensus project focused attention on the problem of hidden hunger. A team of Nobel laureate economists found that micronutrient interventions—fortification and supplements designed to increase nutrient intake—were the most effective investment that could be made, with massive benefits for a tiny price tag.  read more.