How the World Survived the Population Bomb: Lessons from 50 Years of Exceptional Demographic History

A PSC Brown Bag Seminar

David Lam

Monday, 02-21-2011.   ARCHIVED EVENT

Location: 6050 ISR Thompson St

World population will reach 7 billion in 2011, a demographic milestone that is causing renewed attention to the challenges caused by population growth. In this presentation, David Lam looks back on the last 50 years, a period in which world population grew at rates that have never been seen before and that will almost surely never be seen again. Although observers in the 1960s predicted mass starvation in the following decades, world food production increased faster than population in every decade since the 1960s, with significant declines in poverty in much of the developing world. Lam considers the economic and demographic explanations for the surprising successes of this important period in demographic history. He also looks at regions that have been less successful, especially Africa, and at the lessons for dealing with the important challenges that still remain. (This is a preview of the presidential address at the 2011 meeting of the Population Association of America.)

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