Global population has indeed reached eight billion, but it won’t remain there for long. Lower mortality rates and longer life expectancies have contributed to elevated population numbers. Although richer countries have lowered their birth rates in recent decades, poorer countries — specifically those in sub-Saharan Africa — continue to have high birth rates. Whether or not we will be able to support a continually growing population is still a hotly debated topic.

Many analysts still subscribe to philosopher Thomas Malthus’ hypothesis, first postulated in a 1798 essay, that humans’ ability to provide more and more resources will always be overwhelmed by ever-increasing population growth numbers. But others believe that growing population numbers can be supported with proper and effective resource allocation. Regardless, a growing population coupled with climate change will have an impact on resource availability and distribution.

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