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7 Billion And Counting

Population Projection: Your 7 Billion Neighbors And What They Mean

According to the UN Population Division, you will have seven billion cohabitants on the planet by the end of this year. It is also projected that by 2045, the global population could reach nine billion. That kind of growth — the fastest in history — raises serious concerns and questions for you, me and the planet: If we can barely support our current population, can we possibly sustain another 2 billion?

The cover story of National Geographic's January issue probes questions of growth and sustainability at a time when entire species are vanishing, glaciers are melting, and almost a billion people are going hungry each day. Their short video sums it up in numbers:

Today NPR's Talk of the Nation and National Geographic are bringing Robert Kunzig, author of the magazine article, as well as NPR's Richard Harris and Upmanu Lall of the Columbia University Water Center together to discuss how and where the world's population is growing and aging — and the implications for the environment.

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