The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the Earth to produce subsistence for Man...” – Rev. Thomas Malthus. TOMORROW, July 11th, is ‘World Population Day’ (WPD) – established in 1989 by the then-Governing Council of the UN Development Programme (UNDP).
This was a long-drawn out result of the interest generated by the ‘Day of Five Billion:’ July 11th, 1987 when the world population was estimated to have reached five billion souls – Praise be unto the Almighty.
For the sake of comparison, the world population in 1900AD was estimated at 1.6bn; 275m in 1000AD –and a measly 5m people in 5000BC! [Source: ].
To put that in perspective, the world population reached 7,678,142,330 by 10.30 hours East African Time on June 30, 2019 – and stillcounting, ticking away by the second... [Google ‘World Population Clock Live’ for second-by-second updates].
Generally, the world/global population is the total number of living humans on Planet Earth this side of Heaven/Hades! In that regard, China is currently the world’s most populated country, while the Vatican/ Holy See is the least-populated. According to the 2019 UN Population Division estimates, China was home to 1.42bn souls.
This is equivalent to 18.41 per cent of the total world population, in a country whose land area is 9,388,211sq.km. In a population list of 233 countries and dependent territories, the 44 hectare-Holy See/ Vatican is ranked last in terms of human population.
It is home to some 799 souls – God bless them all. Second to China in the population stakes is India next-door: 1.369 billion souls crowded on 2,973,190sq.km of land.
Then take a long drop in population numbers to the USA, at Number Three: 329,093,110 Americans on 9,147,420sq. km of country.
At Number 23 in the rankings is Tanzania, with an estimated population of 60.91m souls in year-2019 on a 945,087sq.km land area. Countries of particular interest to us here in Tanzania are the five other member-states of the second edition of the East African Community (EAC-II; established on July 7, 2000).
Listed in alphabetical order (with their world rankings, estimated 2019 populations/land areas shown in brackets) are: Burundi (ranked at No. 80; 11.57m souls/25,680sq.km); Kenya (ranked at No. 27; 52.21m souls/569,140sq.km); Rwanda (ranked at 77; 12.79m people/24,670sq.km); South Sudan (ranked at 76; 13.26m souls/610,952sq.km), and Uganda (ranked at 31; 45.71m people/199,810sq.km).
Other thinly-populated lands (with population and land area shown in brackets) are: Tokelau, a dependent territory of New Zealand (ranked at number 232: 1,340 population on 10sq.km of land); Niue, an island country in the South Pacific Ocean.
(World ranking: 231. Population: 1,628 on 260sq. km of land). Yet others are the Falkland Islands/Islas Malvinas, a British Overseas Territory. (Ranked at 230; most sparsely-populated country: 2,921 people on 12,170sq.km of land area.
That is 4.16sq.km for each Falkland Islander: what ethereal luxury. By comparison, Monaco – another of the world’s smallest countries ranked at number 214, with a population of 39,102 souls on a land area of a single square kilometre – has a population density of 16,923 per sq.km! Oh... I don’t know! But, WPD is “the most important day in the UNFPA calendar.
It takes on extra significance this year when we mark the 50th anniversary of UNFPA’s founding...” . Roughly 83m people are added to the world’s population yearly.
At that rate, the global population is projected to reach 8.6bn in 2030; 9.8bn in 2050 – and 11.2bn in 2100. This is despite the fact that approximately 800 women die daily worldwide from pregnancy- related complications.
Also, it’s estimated that 30 per cent of the world population is the result of unwanted and accidental pregnancies.
As earlier noted elsewhere, it took 800-plus years in early Christendom to procreate 600m humans – thereby increasing the population from 400m in year- 1,000CE to 1bn in 1804CE. In stark contrast, it took only 214 years to increase the population from a billion (in year-1804) to 7.6bn in May 2018!
So: why did the population grow at a snail’s pace – for lack of a better phraseology – in the early Christian Era (CE)? Wasn’t this in defiance of God’s directive, to wit: ‘God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the Earth and subdue it; rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and every creature that crawls upon Earth....”’ [The Biblical Book of Genesis 1:28].
The population growth gained momentum post- 1000CE – partly on account of “unwanted and accidental pregnancies, estimated to contribute about 30 per cent of the population growth” today.
Whew! We’re also told that “world population growth is slowing down; but it’ll take about 100 years before it stops growing...” Really…? What’ll happen next if and when population growth stops – but the Grim Reaper, Death, continues to take its toll right, left and centre, pray?
What will happen then: a world without humans? I ask you… Yes: YOU.
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