9 Billion?

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Science  29 Jul 2011:
Vol. 333, Issue 6042, pp. 540-543
DOI: 10.1126/science.333.6042.540

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World population is expected to pass 7 billion in late October and is projected to top 9 billion by 2050; the latest U.N. projections put it at about 10 billion in 2100. But all population projections are uncertain, as they are entirely dependent on assumptions about the future—for instance, how many children a woman will have 20 or 30 years hence. In that sense, the numbers in these graphics compiled by Science can be considered best scientific guesses, not destiny. What's more, the further out one looks, the cloudier these projections become. Still, they offer a window into what the world might look like in 2050.