RESOURCES: Head Counts

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Science  12 Dec 2003:
Vol. 302, Issue 5652, pp. 1871
DOI: 10.1126/science.302.5652.1871b

The growing human population is taxing the world's shared resources. Although the world's population has nearly doubled since 1968 to 6.3 billion, the growth rate has fallen from just over 2% per year to 1.3%. To dig up more demographic facts and figures, check out this pair of sites.

The Data Finder at the Population Reference Bureau in Washington, D.C., caches information on more than 220 countries. You can find out the latest estimates for 95 population variables, from birth rate to literacy. To peer into the past or glimpse the future, visit this site from the United Nations. Click on “Data” to access statistics from the latest version of its World Population Prospects report, which provides 28 demographic measures from as far back as 1950, as well as projections out to 2050. For instance, the site forecasts that the world's population in 2050 will fall between 7.4 billion and 12.8 billion.

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