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Women’s rights are key to slowing population growth

Cross-posted from Policy Innovations. As human numbers approach 7 billion, the question is, "Where do we go from here?" The U.N. recently published new population projections, which envision a range of possibilities for the 21st century. In the U.N.'s low projection, our numbers peak at 8 billion by mid-century, then decline to 6 billion by 2100. By contrast, the medium and high projections envision continued growth for the foreseeable future. According to the medium projection, the world's population would reach 10 billion by 2100; according to the high projection, nearly 16 billion. Now, I don't believe there is an optimal …

Read more: Childfree, Living, Population, Sex

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Women, population, and the age of the ‘Black Swan’

Photo: Stewart Morris Cross-posted from RH Reality Check. Welcome to the age of the Black Swan. The tornado that nearly leveled the city of Joplin, Mo., in May was a Black Swan; so was the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami that rocked Japan in March; and the "hundred-year floods" that now take place every couple of years in the American Midwest. A Black Swan is a low-probability, high-impact event that tears at the very fabric of civilization. And they are becoming more common: Weather-related disasters spiked in 2010, killing nearly 300,000 people and costing $130 billion. Black Swan events are …

Read more: Living, Population