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The Allianz Knowledge July Newsletter: Can the World support more people?

Submitted by: Allianz

Categories: Health & Wellness, Sustainability

Posted: Jul 28, 2008 – 09:54 AM EST

 

Jul. 28 /CSRwire/ - July marks the annual World Population Day. With the world's population expected to grow to over nine billion by 2050, we ask this month whether our planet can deal with more people.

Development agencies and demographers warn that rapidly rising populations will cripple impoverished nations and destroy the environment. With half the world's population now under 25, they say that if we do not stabilize the world's population, we risk catastrophe.

Over 200 years ago, Thomas Malthus warned against unchecked population growth and spoke of "the perpetual struggle for food and land." At the time, world population was less than a billion people.

Now, the United Nations predicts that the world population will likely grow from 6.7 billion today to 9.2 billion in 2050. Even with six billion people, humanity is already living well beyond the sustainability of its environment, says environmental NGO WWF. According to a WWF report, mankind currently consumes about 25 percent more natural resources than the Earth can produce. The organization warns that if humanity reaches of 9.1 billion people by 2050 it will be using the biological capacity of two Earths.

As the global population grows, Germany is seeing the inverse trend. The country is aging and shrinking. Our demographic profile examines why this is the case and what Germany is doing to turn the tide.

Demographer Carl Haub compares the surprisingly different population forecasts in the U.S. and Europe. And Allianz expert Harry Jentson looks at the future of health care in Germany.

Enjoy reading our newsletter (http://knowledge.allianz.com/en/newsletter/archive/205.html), and don't miss next month's issue on how to adapt to a changing climate.

Your Allianz Knowledge Team

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