by Lester Brown, Gary Gardner, Brian Halweil
Should you be worried about world population growth? The birth rate is falling in many industrialized countries; in some cases populations are actually shrinking. But in many nations where the population has exploded in recent decades, birth rates remain high, and populations will likely double or triple in the next half-century. Nevertheless, these nations are showing the early signs of "demographic fatigue" —a slowdown in population growth due not to smaller families but to increasing death rates.
In examining the stakes involved in potentially adding another 3.3 billion people to the world population over the next fifty years, the authors of Beyond Malthus call for immediate expansion of international family planning assistance to the millions of couples who still lack access, and new investment in educating young people—especially women—in the Third World, helping to promote a shift to smaller families.
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