The Mega Cities and Seven Billion Inhabitants


Peter Bialobrzeski’s photograph of Shanghai was featured on the cover of the January 2011 issue of National Geographic magazine.

National Geographic Magazine is running a special series on population. By the end of this year there will be 7 billion inhabitants.

Sometime in late 2011, according to the UN Population Division, there will be seven billion of us. 

And the explosion, though it is slowing, is far from over. Not only are people living longer, but so many women across the world are now in their childbearing years—1.8 billion—that the global population will keep growing for another few decades at least, even though each woman is having fewer children than she would have had a generation ago. By 2050 the total number could reach 10.5 billion, or it could stop at eight billion—the difference is about one child per woman. UN demographers consider the middle road their best estimate: They now project that the population may reach nine billion before 2050—in 2045. The eventual tally will depend on the choices individual couples make when they engage in that most intimate of human acts, the one Leeuwenhoek interrupted so carelessly for the sake of science.

With the population still growing by about 80 million each year, it’s hard not to be alarmed. Right now on Earth, water tables are falling, soil is eroding, glaciers are melting, and fish stocks are vanishing. Close to a billion people go hungry each day. Decades from now, there will likely be two billion more mouths to feed, mostly in poor countries. There will be billions more people wanting and deserving to boost themselves out of poverty. If they follow the path blazed by wealthy countries—clearing forests, burning coal and oil, freely scattering fertilizers and pesticides—they too will be stepping hard on the planet’s natural resources. How exactly is this going to work?

This video provides a stunning introduction:

For the first time, in 2008, more of us lived in cities than in rural areas.

MEGACITY growth:
A megacity has a population of more than 10 million.

  • Tokyo, New York City and Mexico City were the only mega cities in 1975.
  • There are 21 megacities in 2011.

Mega Ciies


Seventy percent of the population will be living in a megacity by 2050.

By 2045 global population is projected to reach nine billion. Can the planet take the strain?

  • What do you think the Fire and Emergency Services systems will look like in 2045?
  • Do you think Fixed Suppression Systems will be inherent?

National Geographic Article HERE

  • Link HERE to see more.
  • Mike “FossilMedic” Ward Article from HERE
  • ABC News : Earth’s Population to Reach 7 Billion in 2011 HERE
  • Mega Cities Project, HERE
  • The New, New City, New York Times, HERE

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Filed Under: In the Streets


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