Friday, February 05, 2010

Monaco to Mongolia: population density and prosperity

The next big population bogeyman could well be 'overcrowding'. Should we worry?

Singapore“Stop the World -- I Want to Get Off” was the title of a hit Broadway play some years ago. Today, getting people off the planet is what the United Nations population control crowd would like to do in order to “save” it. After the failed Copenhagen climate control confabulation last December, they will be refocusing their strategy and may target the presumed horrors of overpopulation in the form of large concentrations of people in any given place.

The constantly updating “population clock” of the U.S. Census Bureau showed that the U.S. population was over 308 million and world population not quite 6.8 billion as I write. To the population worriers, these numbers are far too many. Population nihilists conjure up horrendous stories of hordes of people living extremely closely together in dire poverty, clamoring for scarce resources. Fewer people equals less carbon footprints, they claim.

What about “overcrowding?” China’s coercive one-child policy to explicitly curb population is well known, but is China that densely populated? Not at all, when one looks at the relevant data. While the population of China at 1.3 billion is the highest of any country in the world, China ranks only 53rd out of 192 countries in terms of population density, as can be observed in data assembled by the CIA. Full story.

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