Although the experts disagree about when world population reached seven billion, they all agree we have now passed that milestone. And even though population growth rate is declining, the projections show continual growth ahead. What does this mean for our future? What should we do about it? Learn more at this week's crop of population resources.
This site from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is an educational effort to build "awareness around the opportunities and challenges associated with a world of seven billion people" and to inspire individuals and organizations to take action. The campaign focuses on seven themes: poverty, women's rights, young people, ageing, environment, reproductive rights, and urbanization. The site uses stories, music and video, although there was a technical issue with the music videos when I visited.
"Where are the greatest concentrations of people in the United States?" This population activity from National Geographic Education is a forty-five minute exercise for middle-school and high-school students. Using recommended web resources "students calculate population density in the United States and describe some of the patterns in the results" on a downloadable worksheet. Below the interactive exercise, you'll find instructions for teachers, links to additional activities, and a glossary.
"The number of young people under age twenty-five has more than doubled since the 1950s: from 1.3 billion to 2.9 billion in 2000. The decisions that today's youth make about when to have children and how many to have will determine future population growth. In sub-Saharan Africa, for instance, childbearing rates have remained stubbornly high, and childbearing is common among teenagers." This comprehensive population study includes links to additional articles (both online and print) and graphs (click on Population Story: Presentation Graphics).
These two population clocks (one for the U.S. and one for the world) are updated continuously for the first minute you stay on the page. "The populations displayed on the clock are not intended to imply that the population of the world is known to the last person. Rather, the clock is the Census Bureau's estimate of the world population size and an indication of how fast it is growing. " To view the calculations behind the current rate of population growth, follow the links below the counters.
World of 7 Billion is a K-12 curriculum developed by Population Connection, a non-profit advocacy organization. The site contains teacher resources (including lots of printable handouts) and a student video contest. "Did you know that the world population hit seven billion people in 2011? Want to make a difference? Your voice can be heard. Create a video to show how you can be part of the solution!" Deadline for submitting a video is February 21, 2013.