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Sociology class celebrates global population milestone

World eclipses 7 billion mark

Roland Ruiz

Published: Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 23:07

Sociology class celebrates 7 billion global population.

Roland Ruiz—The Battalion

Before celebrating with cake, Professor Dudley Poston's population and society class discussed the implications that a population of 7 billion people may have on the planet.


Professor Dudley Poston and his sociology population and society class joined the world in celebrating its seven billionth member with a cake for the whole class that said, "Happy 7 Billion to the World."

Professor Dudley Poston and his sociology population and society class joined the world in celebrating its seven billionth member with a cake for the whole class that said, "Happy 7 Billion to the World."

The world's population did not grow rapidly until 1800, when it reached one billion people. It was 127 years until the population reached two billion people, in 1927. Over the next 84 years, the population went from two billion to seven billion people. It is projected that the world's population will reach eight billion in 2025.

Poston said, that although this is the largest population the world has ever reached, the growing rate will decrease and the time to double the population will take longer.

"One of the reasons why growing rate is decreasing is due to the fertility rate," Poston said. "Within this reason, you have to include secularization, the use of birth control and the education for women that want to pursue careers."

Poston discussed the four phases of demographic transition in his lecture: high birth rate and fluctuating death rate (phase 1), declining birth and death rate (phase 2), birth rate approaching replacement (phase 3) and low to very low birth/death rate (phase 4). Within these demographic transitions, phases three and four occupy approximately 80 percent of the world while phases one and two occupy the other 20 percent

Poston said by the year 2100 the world will reach around nine-and-a-half billion people; he also said agriculturalists say that supplying food for nine to ten billion people will not be an issue.

"There are environmental issues regarding to the world overpopulating, but what people don't see is that most of growing factors are coming from Sub-Saharan and African countries and not from the U.S.," Poston said. "The U.S. is at the fourth phase of the demographic transition and our population is already developed along with Europe, Japan, New Zealand, Australia and the rest of North America."

Danielle Xiaodan Deng, a sociology doctoral student, said that she is very happy about the world reaching seven billion people and points out that people do not realize that the fertility rate is going down from previous years.

"In the future, every country will decrease in fertility rate as professor Poston said in his lecture," Deng said. "I'm from China and the population is large and the current fertility rate there is low. What I'm concerned of the most is who is going to take care of the elderly in China. With China's One Child Policy per family, one child won't be able to take care of their parents and grandparents all by themselves."

Qian Xiong, a sociology doctoral student, said that she is honored to be a part of this moment with professor Poston and his undergraduate students.

"As students of demography, it is important that we take the responsibility to share this information about demographic transition to other countries around the world so they can find solutions to their population issues," Xiong said.

The world's population did not grow rapidly until 1800, when it reached one billion people. It was 127 years until the population reached  two billion people, in 1927. Over the next 84 years, the population went from two billion to seven billion people. It is projected that the world's population will reach eight billion in 2025.

Poston said, that although this is the largest population the world has ever reached, the growing rate will decrease and the time to double the population will take longer.

"One of the reasons why growing rate is decreasing is due to the fertility rate," Poston said. "Within this reason, you have to include secularization, the use of birth control and the education for women that want to pursue careers."

Poston discussed the four phases of demographic transition in his lecture: high birth rate and fluctuating death rate (phase 1), declining birth and death rate (phase 2), birth rate approaching replacement (phase 3) and low to very low birth/death rate (phase 4). Within these demographic transitions, phases three and four occupy approximately 80 percent of the world while phases one and two occupy the other 20 percent.

Poston said by the year 2100 the world will reach around nine-and-a-half billion people; he also said agriculturalists say that supplying food for nine to ten billion people will not be an issue.          

"There are environmental issues regarding to the world overpopulating, but what people don't see is that most of growing factors are coming from Sub-Saharan and African countries and not from the U.S.," Poston said. "The U.S. is at the fourth phase of the demographic transition and our population is already developed along with Europe, Japan, New Zealand, Australia and the rest of North America."

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