Pop Quiz: how many people are in the world right now?
The answer is 7.6 billion.
That data point and much more are contained in a just-released report called “World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision,” published by the UN. The report contains all sorts of facts and figures that are both interesting on its own, but also extremely consequential to understanding the future of our species in the most literal sense.
On the line with me to talk through some of the demographic trends of the world’s population, is John Wilmoth, Director of the Population Division at the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. We discuss the trajectory of the world’s population including where the big population centers of the future will be. We also have a fascinating conversation about the relationship between contraception, child survival and population growth; and why from a policy perspective one of the more useful things you can know is the age distribution of a population — and here, Europe and Africa represent two extremes that we discuss at length.
If you have 30 minutes and want to learn some of the key demographic trends that will be shaping the planet in the near future, then have a listen.