World populationand its regulation
Population is totality of people capable for self-reproduction and self-development, and occupying certain territory namely country, region, continent or any other part of the planet. Population accompanied by natural environment, mode of production, and system of social relations composes background of human society. Level of development of the society depends on the population’s capability to utilize and reproduce natural resources. On other hand, this capability influences on structure and dynamic of population itself.
Number and other indices are been in use to characterize population. The term natality, or birth rate was given to the integral indicator reflecting social, economic and environmental conditions of human life. Birth rate is annual difference between total births and deaths per 1000 people. Fertility coefficient (annual ratio of born children to total females’ number) is another important characteristic of population. Average lifetime depends on quality of life and indirectly describes the development level of community of society. Number of structural indicators is used to describe population. Gender structure, i.e. quantitative ratio of males and females, characterize reproduction capability of population. Age-specific structure, i.e. distribution of population by age, is important indicator representing part of population able to work and perspectives of reproduction. Ratio of rural and urban population, distribution by nationalities, education level, income, literacy, languages are very important characteristics for understanding and forecasting of population’s dynamic.
The key issue of demography is reproduction of population, i.e. process of generations’ shift. Reproduction is positive in the case if the coefficient of natural increase is more zero. In this case the fertility coefficient should be more than 2.
Demographical processes of variation in structure and numbers have country and regional specific. Therefore both general characteristics and regional features have to be taken into account while forecasting the tendencies in human society development.
Lack of statistic data was the reason of domination of estimation methodology in population evaluation and forecast. According to such estimation the Earth population has reached one billion by 20th century. In 125 years the population has been increased as much as two times. Population has been increased by one more billion people during 35 years only; it’s happened in 1960 (Table 6.4). Analysis of dynamic and tendencies of human society development resulted in conclusion that 10 billion people will be living on the planet by 2025. However, it is expected that population growth rate is going to decrease so that “the only” 14 billion people will share Earth resources by the end of 21 century. Most optimistic forecasts indicate that Earth population will be stabilized at the level of 10–11 billion.
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