New York City, N.Y., Nov 1, 2011 / 04:01 am
As the world welcomes the seven billionth baby this week, experts are divided over whether the planet faces overpopulation or the opposite problem of countries not sustaining their birth rates.
Despite warnings from groups such as the United Nations who spoke of the “challenge” posed by billions of people using global resources, Texas A&M University's Dudley Poston warned that many countries are actually failing to sustain their populations.
“Almost half of the world today lives in countries where the fertility rates are at 2.1 or less children per woman,” Poston told CNA on Oct. 31, explaining that 2.1 is the minimum replacement rate for a society.
Poston, a professor in sociology who specializes in demographics, said the numbers show how these countries have no choice but to “allow more immigrants in or raise the birth rate to keep their population size stable.”
The outlook is grim, however, since raising the birth rate “is next to impossible, and many countries don’t want more immigrants,” he said.