World Nears 7 Billion People Mark

Posted on October 25, 2011

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In one week from today the world’s population will reach seven billion, according to United Nations figure reported the New York Times.

In the last 50 years, humanity more than doubled, surging from three billion in 1959 to four billion in 1974, five billion in 1987 and six billion in 1998. This rate of population increase has no historical precedent.

The NYT excellent analysis can be read in full here, but the sobering reality is nearly half the world lives on $2 a day, or less. In China, the figure is 36 percent; in India, 76 percent. More than 800 million people live in slums, and a similar number, mostly women, are illiterate.

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