Don’t Panic – The Truth About Population: Professor Hans Rosling presents this interactive lecture about population increase

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World famous Swedish statistician Professor Hans Rosling presents a different view about population increase. Using cutting-edge 3D inforgraphics, Rosling paints a vivid picture of a world that has changed in ways we barely understand – often for the better.

Rosling reveals that the global challenge of rapid population growth has already been overcome. In just 50 years the average number of children born per woman has plummeted from 5 to just 2.5 and is still falling fast. This means that in a few generations’ time, world population growth will level off completely. And in what Rosling calls his ‘Great British Ignorance Survey’ he discovers that people’s perceptions of the world often seem decades out of date.

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In Bangladesh, a country once famously described as a ‘basket-case’ , families of two children are now the norm. We meet Taslima Khan who travels through rural villages dispensing contraceptives and advice on how to deal with difficult husbands. Deep in rural Mozambique, one of the poorest countries in the world , we’re introduced to subsistence farmers Andre and Olivia who’ve been saving for two years to buy a piece of life-transforming technology: a bicycle.

Even in these countries, economic growth, investment in healthcare and infrastructure are paving the way to huge improvements in living standards. Globally, the proportion of people in extreme poverty is at its lowest ever, and now the UN is setting itself the goal of eradicating extreme poverty completely within the next twenty years.

Don’t Panic – The Truth About Population airs tonight on BBC2 at 9pm

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2 Responses to “Don’t Panic – The Truth About Population: Professor Hans Rosling presents this interactive lecture about population increase”

  1. dorcas perry says:

    Fine stuff Hans but why did you neatly avoid the subject that oil reserves are running out rapidly. How are we going to generate energy in the future to support 11bn people with increased expectations and a currently rich sector that has no plans to stop consuming energy?

    P.S. I am also not one of your stupid British people. Got all of your questions right on education and birth rate.

    I am doubtful about the income comparisons by sector. Income may be a lot higher on average in Europe, but has the true cost of living here really been taken into account?

    The people using up the fuel are the very rich and these lead international lives and they are connected with all the world.

  2. N Jessen says:

    Even with lower rates of population growth, there will be billions more people looking to a more Western-style consumption model over the next several decades. All while the risk of accelerated Holocene climate change looms large (despite the shorter-term fluctuations in ‘surface’ warming related to things like ocean dynamics). Even Rosling himself is quoted as saying “We have to plan for a future, considering the risk of climate change, with nine to 10 billion people”. Presumably he’s speaking of sometime this century. The fact that we mostly haven’t planned is at least a source of ‘concern’.

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