Global population will reach 7 billion this year and is projected to rise to 10.1 billion by the end of the century.

Over the next forty years, nearly all (97%) of the 2.3 billion projected increase will be in the less developed regions, with nearly half (49%) in Africa. By contrast, the populations of more developed countries will remain flat, but will age, with fewer working-age adults to support retirees living on social pensions.

Already strained, many developing countries will likely face tremendous difficulties in supplying food, water, housing, and energy to their growing populations, with repercussions for health, security, and economic growth.

Global population grew slowly for most of human history. It was not until 1800 that the population hit 1 billion. In the past half-century, population skyrocketed from 3 to 7 billion. This year, about 135 million people will be born and 57 million will die, a net increase of 78 million people.

Considerable uncertainty about these (population) projections remain…Depending on whether the number of births per woman continues to decline, the ranges for 2050 vary from 8.1 to 10.6 billion, and the 2100 projections vary from 6.2 to 15.8 billion.

Clearly humanity is facing an unprecedented energy challenge.

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