9 Ways To Keep The Global Population Under 9 Billion


Today is World Population Day, a time when, hopefully, many of us will take a moment to think about how rapid population growth affects us and the environment. Trying to wrap our heads around the sheer idea of 7 billion+ people all vying for space and resources on this planet can be quite exhausting. The thought of what must be done to stop this runaway growth is even more mind-blowing.

Although most analysts assume that the world’s population will rise from today’s 7 billion to 9 billion by 2050, it is possible that we can prevent humanity from ever reaching this population size.

In a new book, State of theWorld 2012: Moving Toward Sustainable Prosperity, Worldwatch Institute President Robert Engelman argues that there are at least nine steps we can take as individuals, nations, and a species, to slow population growth without drastic population control measures. Most of these reproduction policies are relatively inexpensive to implement, yet in many places they are opposed on the basis of cultural resistance and political infeasibility.

1. Provide universal access to safe and effective contraceptive options for both sexes.

2. Guarantee education through secondary school for all, especially girls.

3. Eradicate gender bias from law, economic opportunity, health, and culture.

4. Offer age-appropriate sexuality education for all students.

5. End all policies that reward parents financially based on the number of children they have.

6. Integrate lessons on population, environment, and development into school curricula at multiple levels.

7. Put prices on environmental costs and impacts of having multiple children.

8. Adjust to an aging population instead of boosting childbearing through government incentives and programs.

9. Convince leaders to commit to stabilizing population growth through the exercise of human rights and human development.

Engelman argues that if most or all of these strategies were put into effect soon, global population likely would peak and subsequently begin a gradual decline before 2050, thereby ensuring sustainable development of natural resources and global stability into the future. Do you agree?


Related Reading:

Study Shows Population Is A Challenge For People, Planet

Top Scientists To World Leaders: Stop Overpopulation Now!

Human Consumption Will Trigger Global Collapse By 2030


Image via Thinkstock


Agnes N.
Agnes N4 years ago


Emily Drew
Emily Drew5 years ago

Thanks for the article. We NEED to reduce the population! Not just keep from getting to 9 billion though.

Amber Beasley
Amber Beasley5 years ago

I'm shocked it doesn't say "murder more unborn babies" cause most people think that. makes me want to throw up.

Linda D.
Linda D5 years ago

To Jeannie M - its people like you that need to have children to pass on your values and care,I use to think the same and never wanted any children now I see my 11 year old with such concern and caring of the environment and animals etc that I know now it was meant to be,it gives me hope that the next generation will change the world.Please read about all the good things people do too so you don't get too disheartened like I use to be.

Jeannie M.
Jeannie M5 years ago

I don't know if it's possible. But I'd like to think that it could be! I have no children myself, I did not want to add to an already overpopulated world! And for what, why would I want to bring a person into this world with all of the pollution, threats of nuclear war, cruelty and a place where soon there will be not animals left because the greedy human race has killed, trashed and taken over everything on this earth they possibly can. The thought of the amount of trash in just one day that humans create is absolutely disgusting and disgraceful! Most people don't care about the environment, animals or anything else. All they care about is themselves. They are greedy and selfish!

My personal opinion is: That they should put a limit on the amount of children people can have. (I think 1 per family) Also, to have a child people should have to have a license or have to take a test first.

It seems that many of the people who can afford to take care of their children often do not have huge families. The ignorant people who can't afford them keep having them and then other people have to pay to take care of them OR they keep having more kids just so they don't have to work. These are mostly the people with a lot of children. Stupid people just having more stupid people. Taking up space, making more trash, creating more waste etc.

I could go on and on, but I am going to stop. I get so upset over how wasteful, greedy and uncaring so many people are is sicke

Dawn Gifford
Dawn Gifford5 years ago

Apparently, only 46% of Generation X women have had kids. This means as a generation, we may not have replaced ourselves. It's not clear yet how it will shake out for subsequent generations, but as a culture becomes wealthier and its people more and more self-actualizing, the imperative to reproduce decreases. Japan, for example is a shrinking country.

As people are able to meet their basic needs reliably, they are free to pursue desires and wants, and often that precludes children. That's why educating women and girls in developing countries, as well as providing access to microfinancing for small business is the surest way to control population and improve community health in those countries.

However, don't be fooled, a declining population has its own set of nasty problems which will require a whole new paradigm around work and social welfare to properly address

Michael C.
Michael C5 years ago

Let us see, the question was, "Can we keep the world population under 9 billion?"

Are you joking? Right here on Care2, there are people who constantly suggest that someone else ought to "save the planet," by have less children and yet I have witnessed so few who would offer to be that change, to let it begin with themselves.

It is merely an exercise in futility. It seems that somewhere in Mans DNA lies a trait of self destruction.

An Example, Romney, Bush, Cheney, the Koch Bros. the list is too great to include all the destroyers, but you know the names and their shame.

Game Over...Still I wonder what it would have looked like, a world without war, polluters, greedy, little bastards, corrupt, lying politicians, a life where we were all blind, at least to the color of mans skin or the difference between rights of a man or a woman.

I am sure that each of you possess a similar list...and yet I still wonder and dream. Do you?

Alan G.
Alan G5 years ago

If every person/couple would have no more than 2 children then the population would immediately be stabilized, and even slowly and gently decline.

Christine Stewart

We must keep our population under control, before the world implodes from our trash and toxins!

Jenna C.
Jenna C.5 years ago

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