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UN releases 2011 world population report

October 26, 2011 - UNITED NATIONS

The theme of the 2011 edition of the United Nations world population report is "The World at Seven Billion and threats to the world's supplies of food and water are looming." The United Nations Population Fund sees the potential for conflicts in the shortages. UNFPA projections suggest the planet is filling fast, and the agency argues the need for curbing population growth. The 2011 figures won't go unchallenged by religious and social conservatives, who mistrust the figures and reject the need for curbs. The 2010 report put the current world population at close to 7 billion and projected it would reach 10.1 billion

The theme of the 2011 edition of the United Nations world population report is "The World at Seven Billion and threats to the world's supplies of food and water are looming." The United Nations Population Fund sees the potential for conflicts in the shortages. UNFPA projections suggest the planet is filling fast, and the agency argues the need for curbing population growth. The 2011 figures won't go unchallenged by religious and social conservatives, who mistrust the figures and reject the need for curbs. ; The 2010 report put the current world population at close to 7 billion and projected it would reach 10.1 billion in the next 90 years. UNPFA Executive-Director Babatunde Osotimehin describes food insecurity as a potential flashpoint globally. In an interview in June with the Guardian newspaper, he noted that rapid population growth impedes efforts to raise income, protect livelihoods and reduce food shortages, particularly in rural areas where food insecurity is often most perilous. Much of this increase is projected to come from the high-fertility countries. Thirty-nine are in Africa, nine in Asia, six in Oceania and four in Latin America, according to the 2010 UNFPA report.It concedes that low fertility is also a problem. Low-fertility countries include all countries in Europe except Iceland and Ireland, 19 out of the 51 in Asia, 14 out of the 39 in the Americas, two in Africa (Mauritius and Tunisia) and one in Oceania (Australia). The Guardian notes that in 2005, a report by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) concluded that the goal of achieving food security will be more difficult if population growth rates are not reduced. A recent article by Steven W. Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, reacts to the latest UNPFA projections. The article has been widely republished by religious and social conservative organizations, an indication of how widely his views are shared. He says the new UN predictions "fly in the face of all we know about human fertility." The factors affecting fertility — with the sole exception of advances in reproductive technology — are moving in an anti-natal direction, he argues. "Factors like age at marriage, age at first child-bearing, educational levels, etc., are all tending to lower fertility. Birthrates are falling everywhere, farther and faster than anyone thought possible several decades ago." He argues that the UN is "arbitrarily inflating population predictions . . . to justify the continuation and expansion of population control and abortion."The Population Research Institute describes itself as an international non-profit "which works to end coercive population control, and fight the myth of overpopulation which fuels it." (WRITTEN Jun 2011)

UNFPAhttp://

UN Sponsor: United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)Event URL:

UN World Population Report 2010

'We will solve problems around food and population from the bottom up' (Guardian 1 Jun 2011)

World food system needs an overhaul, Oxfam says (Vancouver Sun 1 Jun 2011)

New numbers, same old song (Population Research 2011)

C&rsquomon, Japan, Procreate! (WSJ 3 Jun 2011).

The state of the world population 2011 notice (UNFPA)

World Congress of Families

Date written/update: 2011-10-26