State of World Population 2001
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Human activity is altering the planet on an unprecedented scale, the report points out. More people are using more resources with more intensity¿and leaving a bigger ¿footprint¿ on the earth¿than ever before.
Global poverty cannot be alleviated without reversing the environmental damage caused by both rising affluence and consumption and by growing populations, the report stresses. It calls for increased attention and resources to balancing human and environmental needs.
World population, now 6.1 billion, has doubled since 1960 and is projected to grow by half, to 9.3 billion, by 2050. Some 2 billion people already lack food security, and water supplies and agricultural lands are under increasing pressure. Water use has risen six-fold over the past 70 years; by 2050, 4.2 billion people will be living in countries that cannot meet people¿s daily basic needs. Unclean water and poor sanitation kill over 12 million people each year; air pollution kills nearly 3 million.
The report examines the close links between environmental conditions, population trends, and prospects for alleviating poverty in developing countries. It finds that expanding women¿s opportunities and ensuring their reproductive health and rights are critically important, both to improve the well-being of growing human populations and to protect the natural world.
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