May 19, l988 WORLD POPULATION EXPANDS LONDON (UPI) World population is growing by 220,000
May 19, l988
WORLD POPULATION EXPANDS
LONDON (UPI) World population is growing by 220,000 people a
day, or about 150 every minute, and the increasing human demands
are overpowering land, air and water resources vital to man's
survival, a U.N. report said Wednesday.
"There is urgent need for action. World population, now over 5
billion, will be 6 billion by the end of the century," said the
report entitled "The State of World Population 1988."
"Nearly all of this growth is in developing countries, by
definition those least capable of absorbing it," said the annual
study by the U.N. Population Fund. The fastest growth is reported
in Latin America, Africa and South Asia.
Nafis Sadik, executive director of the U.N. Population Fund,
warned at a news conference that "environmental resources could
become seriously out of balance unless we do something about it.
"The land is shrinking even as the numbers grow," she said.
The report said in many areas water is being used faster than
it is being replenished and the amount of land available for
agriculture is disappearing.
"Tropical forests are shrinking by 11 million hectares (27.18
million acres) a year," the study said. "Topsoil is being lost at
the rate of 26 billion tons a year. New deserts are appearing at
the rate of 6 million hectares (14.8 million acres) a year."
It said about 1 billion people are being added to the world
population every 12 years.
"Every minute the global population grows by 150, every day by
220,000, every year by over 80 million. By the turn of the
century, the world is expected to have 6.1 billion people."
By the year 2000, the report said, half of the world will be
living in urban areas - up to 75 percent of Latin America's
population, 42 percent of Africa's and 37 percent of Asia's.
The report warned of the negative consequences of urban
"Urban growth eats up arable land, which can be disastrous in
a country such as Egypt, where only 4 percent of the country is
cultivatable," it said.
"Between 1967 and 1975, the United States lost some 2.5
million hectares (6.17 million acres) of farmland to urban
A city's growing demands for food, water, energy and shelter -
and the need to dispose of waste - "distort the economy and
geography of the surrounding countryside," the report said.
Forests are often cut down for fuel and to make way for
houses, it said, and more industrial plants are built that
pollute the air and water.
"The number of people living in cities of over 1 million has
grown rapidly, from one in 100 in 1940 to one in 10 by 1980. In
highly urbanized Latin America that ratio is currently one in
four," the report said.
It cited as the fastest growing cities by population: Mexico
City, which had 17.3 million people in 1985 and is projected to
have 25.8 million by 2000, Sao Paulo (15.9 million, projected 24
million), Bombay (10.1 million, projected 16 million), Jakarta
(7.9 million, projected 13.2 million), Cairo (7.7 million,
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