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Grew at 16 percent per year from 44 billion to 65

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grew at 1.6 percent per year, from 4.4 billion to6.5 billion. During the same period, LDCpopulation grew at 2.0 percent per year, from 3.2billion to 5.3 billion. This chapter explains thisphenomenal growth rate and looks at itsimplications.
World Population Throughout HistoryThroughout most of our existence, populationgrew at a rate of only 0.002 percent(or 20 permillion people) per year. This growth was subjectto substantial fluctuations from wars, plagues,famines, and natural catastrophes. However,since about 8000 b.c.e., population growth rateshave accelerated. Worldwide population reachedone billion in the early 19thcentury.
The second billion was added about a centurylater, in 1930. The third billion came along inonly 30 years, in 1960; the fourth took only 15years, in 1975; the fifth, 11 years, in 1986; thesixth billion took 12 years, in1998; and withpopulation growth deceleration the seventhbillion is expected in 2013. Eighty-one percentof the world’s population lives in LDCs.
World Population: Rapid but DeceleratingGrowthThe world’s population is unevenly distributedgeographically. The most rapidly growing regionsare in the developing world: Asia, Africa, and LatinAmerica. Their share of the global populationincreased from 70.0 percent in 1950 to 81.5percent in 2000, and is expected to reach 85.1percent in 2025. From 1950 to 2000, Asia, Africa,and Latin America grew at a rate of 2.1 percentyearly, a rate that doubles population in 33 years.Such growth is unprecedented in world history.
The Demographic TransitionThe demographic transition is a period of rapidpopulation growth between a preindustrial,stable population characterized by high birthand death rates and a later, modern, stablepopulation marked by low fertility and mortality.The rapid natural increase takes place in theearly transitional stage when fertility is high andmortality is declining.
STAGE 1: HIGH FERTILITY AND MORTALITYWe were in this stage throughout most of ourhistory. Although annual population growth wasonly 5 per 10,000 between 1 and 1650 c.e.,growth in 18th- and 19thcentury WesternEurope was about 5 per 1,000, and birth anddeath rates were high and fairly similar.
STAGE 2: DECLINING MORTALITYThis stage began in 19th-century Europe asmodernization gradually reduced mortality rates. Foodproduction increased as agricultural techniquesimproved. Improvements in trade, transportation, andcommunication meant people. Death from infectiousdiseases, such as tuberculosis and smallpox, declinedas nutrition and medical science improved, and afterthe introduction and adoption of soap, cheap kitchenutensils, and cotton clothing led to better personalhygiene. Drainage and land reclamation reduced theincidence of malaria and respiratory diseases.
STAGE 3: DECLINING FERTILITYDeclining fertility, of the demographic transitiondid not begin in Europe for several decades,and in some instances, a century, after thebeginning of declining mortality in stage 2.

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