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David Lam's Presidential Address

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

World population will reach 7 billion in 2011, a demographic milestone that is causing renewed attention to the challenges resulting from population growth. In his PAA presidential address, David Lam will look 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.

Video of David Lam's preview of his PAA address (PSC, Feb 21, 2011)

Excerpts from Lam's presentation:

world food production "The world is producing three times as much food today as in 1960; the population is two times what it was in 1960, so there's 41% higher food production per capita."
food price index "During the period when world population was doubling, from 1960 to 2000, no one would have thought that prices for food and non-energy commodities would be falling, and end up at about half in 2000 of what they were in 1960."
years of schooling brazil "The shift from large families making low investments in their children to small families making high investments in their children is a fundamental dimension of economic development during this period."
total fertility rate
sulfar dioxide level
percent in poverty
"We went through an incredible period in the last 50 years with the doubling of the world's population in just 39 years. We put pressure on resources in ways we never had before. The challenges we face in future - while staggering - are nothing compared to what we've already gone through, and we have reasons to be optimistic about the future."