The Big Crunch

Birthrates are falling, but it may be a half-century before the number of people--and their impact--reaches a peak

Odds are you'll never meet any of the estimated 247 human beings who were born in the past minute. in a population of 6 billion, 247 is a demographic hiccup. in the minute before last, however, there were another 247. in the minutes to come there will be another, then another, then another. By next year at this time, all those minutes will have produced nearly 130 million newcomers to the great human mosh pit. That kind of crowd is awfully hard to miss.

For folks inclined to fret that the earth is heading for the environmental abyss, the population problem...

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