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For Immediate Release, May 6, 2011

Contact: Randy Serraglio, (520) 784-1504

United Nations Report Projects 10 Billion People by Century's End

Increased Number Highlights Need to Stabilize Human Population Growth

TUCSON, Ariz.— A new report from the United Nations this week projects that the global human population will exceed 10 billion by 2100. The projection is higher than previous estimates, which predicted the global population would peak at slightly more than 9 billion in 2050 and then begin to decline.

“The projection of 10 billion humans on this planet by century’s end is bad news for all the other animals and plants that call it home,” said Randy Serraglio, overpopulation campaign coordinator at the Center for Biological Diversity. “There is simply no way the Earth can support that many people and sustain all of the other species that rely on its resources for survival. The result will be accelerating extinction rates for plants and animals around the globe.”

The U.N. report says previous estimates of stabilizing and falling fertility rates are not playing out as expected. Instead, the world’s population will hit 7 billion later this year, on its way to 10 billion in under 90 years.

“It’s a staggering jump. And it’s now clearer than ever that stabilizing unsustainable human population growth will not happen by itself,” said Serraglio. “The projection of a peak at 9 billion was based on optimistic scenarios of increased family-planning awareness, education and access to birth control. We must redouble our efforts to make those scenarios a reality.”

The trend points in the wrong direction at the moment. In real dollars, funding for family planning and birth control has slipped in recent years, while more than 200 million women around the world who desire contraception lack access to it.

“It was particularly disturbing to see the U.S. Congress attack and cut funding for family-planning services in the recent budget battles,” said Serraglio. “Contributions to effective and much-needed reproductive health programs are a wise investment in a better future for all of the Earth’s species, including us.”

For millions of women, publicly funded healthcare programs are the only means of access to family planning.

“What is needed is a global effort to empower women with the necessary resources, education and freedom to make their own reproductive choices,” said Serraglio. “Fully funded reproductive health programs will help ensure a healthier, happier future for women and children around the world.”

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