Archive for category Population

Seven-billionth human marks demographic change: expert

by Jim Forsyth
Sun, Oct 30 2011

SAN ANTONIO, Tex (Reuters) — The seven-billionth human is expected to be born on Monday, but an expert who helps do the counting says that event comes as the Earth undergoes a demographic shift toward slower population growth.

According to the United Nations Population Fund, the seven-billionth child is most likely to be a boy born in India or China, but the trend of fertility in the longer term is in a different direction, says Dudley Poston, a professor of sociology and demographics at Texas A&M University,

For the first time ever, the human reproduction rate is slowing, in many places slowing significantly, and the slowing growth is not only happening in Europe and Japan, he says.

“Once your fertility rates drops below two, it is very very hard to get it to go back up again,” Poston told Reuters.

“We now have 75 countries in the world where the fertility rate is below two,” meaning the average woman is having fewer than two children.

That is far below the rate of 2.2 to 2.3 considered optimal to hold the population steady, factoring in the number of females who have no children or who don’t live to reach childbearing age. Read the rest of this entry »