Hans Rosling, who helped usher in TED talks way back when using stunning visuals, envisions how the world will look in 50 years as global population grows to 9 billion. To check further population growth, which might have disastrous consequences, he exhorts us to raise the living standards of the poorest. [more inside]
Governments around the globe are opening up their data vaults allowing us to check out the numbers for ourselves. This is the Guardian’s gateway to that information. Search for government data here from the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand — and look out for new countries and places as they are added. Read more about this on the Datablog. [more inside]
Tomorrow morning at 7:46am, the US Population Clock will hit 300 million. As the world population continues to grow at a similar rate to ours, perhaps its time to start asking some questions. After all, if you can read this post, chances are you don't live in Africa, where "more than 2,500 children are dying each day," simply for lack of access to fresh drinking water. Its so easy not to worry about when you're not the 1 in 5 who can't get a clean drink. But there's lots of ways you can help.
The Empty Cradle. Our everyday personal experiences with traffic, sprawl and other irritants of modern life tell us there are too many people in the world and the problem is getting worse. However in truth world population growth peaked 40 years ago in 1963 and has been trending downward since. Demographers predict that absolute human population will peak at 9 billion by 2070 and then contract. Long before then, many nations will shrink in absolute size and the average age of the world's citizens will shoot up dramatically, including the fastest aging part of the world: developing countries, where for example Iraq is aging 2.5 times faster than the USA and Mexico 5 times as fast. Having averted the danger of overpopulation, the world now faces the opposite problem: an aging and declining population.
Since this is the first day of the new year, I thought it would be interesting to check current US and global population numbers, and then compare those numbers on January 1st 2004, to see how much the world's population has grown or shrunk. Currently the clock shows 292,277,976 for the US, and 6,625,786,982 for the World. Metafilter readers from outside the US are welcome to post their countries current population level, as well.
Miniature Earth... Sure, you may have already seen something like this before... but as we're about to turn the calendar over for another year, it's as good a time as any to thoughtfully reconsider the world we live in. Miniature Earth is a flash presentation that compresses the world's population down to a community of 100 people, and gives statistical proportions. Work with passion; Love without needing to be loved; appreciate what you have; and do your best to make a better world.