On our planet, more and more people, and less food
Author: Yuri Sigov, Washington
'Business Week', Kazakhstan
Mankind has entered (exactly when it is not very clear, but about the end of the last century) in a completely new era for themselves both social and economic relations. More and more people inhabit our planet, less for at least a bearable life is cultivated agricultural land, and, increasingly, experts talk of the fact that we are all facing a big crisis of food shortages. Or rather — a real hunger, if not found any effective methods for managing the world economy.
One of the many camps Afrikaners — white South Africans — to preserve their history and to show that in spite of the fact that the number of poor blacks in the region far exceeds white poverty — a problem of all mankind, regardless of race.
From that moment appeared on our planet first human settlements in the Neolithic period, constantly going, "clearing the free territories" for the needs of families, tribes, nations, and the first-formed man of public entities. Since then, new lands for handling person to master, but at the same time increased and the sheer number of living people on the planet.
This growth, however, throughout human history greatly influenced the various natural and social disasters — epidemics, famine, war, the number of which reside on a regular basis is reduced. But all of our humanity quantitatively increased and accordingly, gradually began to appear and the problem of all the people to the existence of sufficient food.
It affects the provision of food in the change in life expectancy. At the first stage of human development does not exceed the life expectancy of 20-25 years (mainly because of the very high infant mortality and women in childbirth), then around the mid XIX century, life expectancy has increased rapidly.
However, the very first and very significant "population explosion" occurred on Earth about 9,000 years ago, after the rudiments of organized agriculture and the beginning of the first breeding animals. Thus, during the two thousand years only on the territory of the Middle East population has increased from half a million to 5 million people. And the Europeans in the same time period was and did ten times more — their number increased from 2 million to 23 million people.
At the same time began to increase sharply the population of India, China, Japan, nations and peoples of the Americas. Thanks to mark the 100 million inhabitants of our planet was passed at the beginning of II century BC, and the XIV century, the world population is 500 million, and in 1806 it was first exceeded one billion inhabitants.
In 2000 the world population will exceed 6 billion, which has led demographers talk about the possible overpopulation of the planet, and therefore the threat of hunger — especially for developing countries in Africa and Asia. In this case, in order to reach the mark of 1 billion people, the planet in its development took more than 200,000 years. And it was enough just as 200 years to the world's population has increased by eight times.
Earth's population will not increase indefinitely
According to the forecasts of the leading demographers of the world in the next 50 years the world population will continue to grow, and it will increase by another 2.5 billion people. And even if this quantitative human growth in some way and will stabilize in the near future, by the end of this century, our planet will still have to live more than 8 billion, which in itself seems to be just a huge quantity.
According to the UN, every day in the world is born more than 170 thousand people, and in 2050, according to the experts of the World Organization for Agriculture FAO, humanity will need to feed 2 to 3 billion new inhabitants of our planet. Also raises some thought and statistics the number of young and older people, especially in developing countries.
Thus, according to scientists, by 2050, more than 1 billion people living in the so-called "advanced western world"? reach the age of 70 years and older. But to work to support their old age, the world will be only 46% of the workforce compared with the current data.
In China and India — the two most populous countries in the world, to the same time, more than 3 billion people (ie half the current population) reached the age of 55 years, and for the most part they do not shine any pensions, benefits and a general care of by their own government. As for the rest of the population of the two countries will be aged about 30 years, which means there is a huge surplus of labor, and the absence of any real opportunities for its even minimal employment.
Yet in all of this is causing more concern certain demographic picture is not all that actually ustraschayusche. For example, around since the early 70's of the last century, the rate of population growth began to decline gradually. It is interesting that in the beginning, demographers expected that by 2050 the population of the planet will increase by 4 billion people, but now these forecasts were reduced to numbers "only" 3.2 billion people.
Changes gradually and the pattern of growth factor in the fertility of people, especially in developed Western countries (Europe, North America and Japan). In 1950 the average woman had 5 children, compared with the figure of 2.75 children today, and only two children — in 2050. With the significant growth of the same well-being and improvement of the general level of education for women around the world, not only in the so-called "western world", but also in relatively poor countries have become less and less to have children, if they are studying at university or college, or if they come from wealthy families malomalski.
Studies have shown that if a woman who has never been to school, in the family today has 4.5 children, those who attended at least a couple of years at least primary school, they are not more than three. In yesterday's college student or technical school — 1.9, but if a woman gets a higher education — the number of children it is 1.7.
Cities in the world will be more, and to live in them will be more people
Much will depend on how fast will continue uncontrolled urbanization of life in developing countries, and how many people will eventually host the largest urban metropolitan areas — especially in Africa and Asia. So, in 2008, more than 3.3 MAWP people lived in urban areas, that is, in fact, every other inhabitant of our planet was a city dweller.
By 2030, demographic projections, already every 6 out of 10 inhabitants of our planet will move from rural to urban mestnoti (especially active this process will be in China and India), and in 1900 the ratio was only 1 in 10. At the same time continues to rapidly growing number of major cities on the planet (with a population of 5 million or more inhabitants). Thus, while in 1950 there were large cities in the world only eight, in 2025, according to scientists, they will already have as many as 80.
Most new and populous cities will be in Asia and Africa, where the urban population will double between 2000 and 2030. As a result, after 20 years in the cities of the world will have more than 80% of the total population.
It is interesting to note that if in 1950, the most populous city in the world was considered to New York in the United States (as it then lived more than 12 million inhabitants) in 2015 to first place in terms of population has come Tokyo, Japan (with its immediate suburbs) , which will house more than 36 million people.
At the same time will continue to develop the trend of gradual aging of the population especially those countries that are in the Northern Hemisphere, and rejuvenation of the general population in the states of the so-called "South". By 2050 the number of older people will exceed the number of people of all other age groups. In Japan, the trend has been observed since 1998, and in a short time for "Japanese social model 'will have to live for at least another 10-15 residents of countries, mainly in Western Europe.
Now, according to the UN, the world population of over 630 million people over the age of 60. By 2050, they will be on this planet for 2 billion people. And if in 1950 the elderly accounted for only 8% of the population, in 2000 — already 10%. And in 2050, scientists have counted as one in five of our planet will reach retirement age.
Food will be less, and it will be more expensive
Gradually exacerbate serious demographic problems of our world will be more added and problems of people with food. The question will be not only in the production of agricultural products, but also in their uniform and at least minimally fair distribution in the world. The task will already be not only how to feed 8 billion people living on our planet, but also to make sure that food distribution was uniform and did not lead to the forced migration of large numbers of people from country to country in search of basic food products.
According to the UN, in the future, many countries of the world will face serious food shortages. The prices of many basic agricultural products will increase substantially, and poor countries, even in the case of assistance from the international sobschestva increasingly difficult to feed its population.
It is clear that the people of the developed countries will also have to reconsider its attitude to the grocery diet and inevitably pay next year for food by 10-15% more than this year. Will increase sharply and food consumption in the two largest population countries — India and China.
Also, many countries will be forced to reconsider its attitude to the use and processing of available agricultural land. For example, China has at its disposal only 9% of all persons in the world agricultural areas. But in the country is more than a quarter of the world's population. How to use these idle and uncultivated land in China — the question in many ways not only purely economic, demographic, and political.
For example, the Chinese government said that it is much cheaper and easier (including — and from a social point of view) to rent a vacant agricultural land in other countries than to spend enormous resources to the development of vacant and undeveloped land in most of China (by the way, China offered to Kazakhstan to lease a million hectares of fertile land, but was refused.)
So now the Chinese are actively buying vacant land in the same Africa, Latin America (Venezuela), Asia, plus they offer such "land deals" and the post-Soviet countries to make them produce the necessary agricultural products, and thus solve the problems facing the country the problem of providing its population with food.
It should also be noted that for all the difficulties faced and the population of China and India has for years posledenie eat much better and more varied than ever before. And therefore the need for a higher quality of food in the two countries will continue to grow steadily (though no one really knows of experts to calculate what is actually the amount of food to the population of these two countries really need, because neither China nor India have no clear data on the domestic production of important food components, such as wheat and rice).
Of course, even with all the means at the UN population data of the Earth and its nutritional needs very future of mankind to predict with some confidence is still no one can. As anyone from even the most venerable scholars is unknown to those disasters, which "are also designed" by nature and from which people in the world still, like hundreds of thousands of years ago, is entirely dependent …