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Save the children, save the environment

UPDATE: This beautiful graphic doesn’t show on the home page in some browsers. Click to open the post.

Best way to protect the environment? Save the children. Cheap energy and clean water go a long way…

h/t @mattridley

When babies are at high risk of dying prematurely, parents respond by having lots of kids. Once medical conditions improve and infant mortality goes down parents have fewer kids. Overpopulation is solved by improving healthcare. Source: https://t.co/GLzfzzZ8KL pic.twitter.com/oeM4ofXCXe

— Simon Kuestenmacher (@simongerman600) June 6, 2019



The original creator was Robert Wilson‏ @countcarbon May 14 who went on to split the regions:


The data in the cool graphics come from GapMinder. Love those graphics!

So what will it be? On the one hand some predict the global population will level and start to decline this century. See Empty Planet: The Shock of Global Population Decline  by John Ibbitson and Darrell Bricker. They argue the global population is headed for a steep decline—and in many countries, that decline has already begun. Sounds interesting. Robert Wilson @countcarbon says fertility rates in Africa are coming down.

But all estimates hinge on how long it takes Africa to catch up in that demographic transition

The Hoover Institution warns:  Forecasting of Africa’s demographic trajectory based on expectations that it would follow the pattern of other regions has thus been badly misleading. …As can readily be seen, the UN fertility projections, based on analyzing the pattern of fertility decline in other developing regions, anticipated fertility reductions of .5 to 1 child per woman more than was actually observed. As the slow fertility decline in Africa continues to confound expectations, the adjustments to population projections can be dramatic.

United Nations’ World Population Prospects 2017

Exponential curves can be so persnickety. There are very different futures contained within the uncertainties.

PS: The outlier in the top graphic is apparently Barbados. At least that’s what someone said on twitter…

h/t Patrick H

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