This post is part of our Planning for 7 Billion series, highlighting the challenges posed by a quickly growing global population.
The world is growing—and fast. We’ve just eclipsed seven billion people here on Earth, and that number is only going to increase faster in the future. Moreover, on our way to seven billion people, the world has, for the first time, more urban residents then rural ones. There are countless challenges stemming from these two shifts, but the need to feed and house so many people, and in so many places, will provide stern tests for our national and international leadership in the future.
More people on the planet will mean a greater demand for resources. ThinkProgress, summarizing a United Nations report, notes that global population growth will require “by 2030…a 50 percent increase in food production, 45 percent more energy, and 30 percent more water.”