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Population of key countries in 2050
China and India remain the two largest countries in the world, each with more than 1 billion people, representing 19 and 18 % of the world’s population, respectively. But by 2022, the population of India is expected to surpass that of China.

Currently, among the ten largest countries in the world, one is in Africa (Nigeria), five are in Asia (Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, and Pakistan), two are in Latin America (Brazil and Mexico), one is in Northern America (USA), and one is in Europe (Russian Federation). Of these, Nigeria’s population, currently the seventh largest in the world, is growing the most rapidly. Consequently, the population of Nigeria is projected to surpass that of the United States by about 2050, at which point it would become the third largest country in the world. By 2050, six countries are expected to exceed 300 million: China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and the USA.

Population is one of the most fundamental aspects of human existence. From the smallest tribe to the largest nation, important decisions are based on questions like: How many of us are there? How are we divided? Where are we going? Do we have enough food and other resources to take care of us? And if not, what should we do about it?

In this article, we'll find out how human populations are measured, how population changes affect us, and what studying populations can tell us about the future of the human race. We'll also examine the forces that affect human populations.

What is Population?
A population is an aggregate of individuals that share a characteristic or set of characteristics. A population is commonly defined by geography, such as all the humans on Earth, all the people in Sweden or all the people in Texas. Demographers (people who study human populations) call this a natural population. An aggregate of any type of living creature is considered a population, but for this article, we'll be focused on human populations.

There are ways other than geography to define and study populations. Time, political leanings, religious beliefs or physical characteristics are all ways to divide people into different populations. The study of populations is accomplished by examining these different populations and seeing where they overlap. For example, if you know the population of Americans who are Republicans, and you know the population of Americans who live in Texas, you can study where those populations intersect and learn something about both Republicans and Texans.

Measuring Population
The most basic (though not necessarily easiest or most accurate) way to measure population is simply to count everyone. This is known as a census and is usually undertaken by government officials. In the past, religious organizations carried out censuses, but usually on a local or regional level. The Roman Empire conducted censuses in order to measure the pool of military-age men and for taxation purposes, but these were limited because Romans had to report to government officials in their hometown to be counted. People who were poor or otherwise unable to travel were seldom counted [source: Weinstein & Pillai]. The U.S. government conducted the first true census in 1790 and has conducted a full census every 10 years ever since. A full census is sometimes known as complete enumeration -- every single person is counted either through face-to-face interviews or through questionnaires. There are no estimates.

Even a full census has limits. In countries with very remote areas, it can be impossible for census takers to count everyone. The 1980 U.S. census suffered from a documented undercount in part because census takers were afraid to go into some inner-city neighborhoods [source: Weinstein & Pillai]. A census also has trouble collecting information on rare populations. A rare population is one that is small or not reflected in standard census data. The United States isn't allowed to collect religious information in the national census, for example, so American Muslims could be considered a rare population. People who participate in a particular hobby or own a certain model of car are other examples of rare populations.

One alternative to a complete enumeration census is sampling. You might be familiar with this as the method used by market research companies and political analysts to conduct their research. Statisticians use a mathematical formula to determine the minimum number of people who must be counted to constitute a representative sample of the total population. For example, if the total population is 1,000 people, researchers might only need to survey 150 of them directly. Then they can take the data from the sample and extrapolate it to the full population. If 10 percent of the people in the sample are left-handed, it can be assumed that 100 out of a population of 1,000 are left-handed.

Sampling can actually return more accurate results than full enumeration, but there are some caveats. All samples have a margin of error, because there's always a chance that the sample selected for the survey differs from the total population in some way. This is expressed as a percentage of possible variation, such as "plus or minus four percent." The larger the sample size, the lower the margin of error. In addition, samples must be chosen as randomly as possible. This can be harder than it sounds. Let's say you want to survey a sample of everyone in France. One method used in the past was to select names at random from the phone book. However, this eliminates certain classes of people from the possibility of being selected for the sample: poor people with no phones; people who use cell phones and thus don't appear in the phone book; people with unlisted numbers; and most college students.

Gathering population data for places that don't conduct censuses, or from historical periods before censuses became common, is accomplished by piecing together whatever demographic information is available. There may be partial censuses, local population data or information gathered by church or civic groups. Examining birth and death records provides other clues.

Aspects of Populations
There's a lot more to know about populations than just how many people there are.
Age - The age of a population can tell us a lot about what the population is doing, as well as what it will be doing in the future. A sudden increase in the birth rate (such as the post-World War II "Baby Boom" in the United States) creates a "bulge" in the population. A larger than normal percentage of the population is then concentrated into a certain age group. As those people age, the bulge moves through the population and can have enormous societal effects. As Baby Boomers moved into middle age and started their own families, their tremendous purchasing power helped fuel the U.S. economy. As they move into old age, they will exert immense pressure on the health care industry and Social Security.

Location - Finding out where people live is one of the biggest reasons the United States conducts its census. Legislators in the House of Representatives are allocated to each state based on that state's population. Many government programs base their funding on population patterns as well. Location data also tells us about the movement of people. U.S. census data shows that Americans have been moving less and less often since the 1940s and that in the last 15 to 20 years, Americans have been moving away from the Northeast and into the Southeast [source: Population Estimates, Census 2000 Special Reports].
Socio-economic data - Computer mapping software combined with population data can show us patterns that might provide clues to underlying problems. Such a map might show high concentrations of poor people in certain urban areas, or high concentrations of people with cancer near certain industrial sites.­

Race - The demographic study of race is very controversial. Scientifically, there's no such thing as different "races" of human beings. The difference between Asian people and black people is the same as the difference between people with brown eyes and people with blue eyes. However, the idea of race still plays an important role in our societies. Many of us self-identify as being part of a certain race for cultural reasons. Demographers can study racial populations for information on issues that might be emphasized within a racial group, such as a medical problem. The U.S. Census Bureau explains the race data they collect as "generally reflect[ing] a social definition of race recognized in this country. They do not conform to any biological, anthropological, or genetic criteria"

Population Growth
The human population has increased almost continually throughout history. Since no solid records exist for most historical periods, scholars have to estimate worldwide populations based on whatever demographic information they can piece together. In 10,000 B.C., there were between one and 10 million humans. By 1,000 B.C. there were 50 million. In A.D. 600, worldwide population had reached 200 million. At the dawn of the 20th century, 1.5 billion humans lived on the planet [source: Historical Estimates of World Population].

Our population seems to increase with greater and greater speed as the centuries go on. The primary reason for this is simple -- each increase in population creates more people able to reproduce. Population grows exponentially. If one million people have enough children to double the population (taking into account mortality rates), then the next generation will have twice as many giving birth to children. Doubling the population then results in four million people. This is sometimes known as the Malthusian Growth Model, named after one of the earliest researchers of population, Thomas Malthus.So it should come as no surprise that in the 100 years between 1900 and 2000, the world's population quadrupled, topping six billion. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that it will exceed 10 billion by 2050

Spikes and Bottlenecks
The more or less steady climb of human population is interspersed at various points with spikes (sudden, rapid jumps in the rate of increase that eventually level off) and bottlenecks, sudden drops in total population.
Worldwide population spikes in the past can only be estimated due to incomplete historical records, but evidence of sudden population growth coincides with the discovery of tools, the domestication of food crops and the Industrial Revolution. Each of these major changes in the way humans lived their lives resulted in a vastly increased capacity to produce food, goods or labor. They also freed up some people to take on specialized jobs and improved the overall quality of life. These conditions allowed humans to flourish and increase their populations. Generally speaking, periods of increased population growth coincide with periods of prosperity.

Plagues and some wars represent population bottlenecks, also known as genetic bottlenecks. When the population suddenly and dramatically drops, a limited number of humans are able to continue reproducing. Although the population ultimately rebounds and grows beyond its pre-bottleneck levels, every human who is subsequently born can trace his lineage directly to one of the handful of reproducers in the bottleneck. This greatly limits genetic diversity.

The Population Problem

As a population grows, it's put under pressure. This pressure can come from a lack of resources to feed, house and provide services; disease; war; or lack of enough space. The pressure can be relieved by migration. Wars, diseases and famine also reduce the pressure by killing off a portion of the population. In fact, the basis for Thomas Malthus' famous population theories is that human population will inevitably grow beyond the ability of the Earth to sustain it, resulting in self-correcting (and unpleasant) pressures.

Malthus' idea is sometimes known as "the Population Bomb" (or Malthusian Population Theory), and it gained popularity with the growth of the environmental movement in the 1970s. Fears of worldwide overpopulation are based on several factors:
We won't be able to produce enough food to feed everyone.
There isn't enough space for everyone to live.
Humans cause harm to the environment. Too many humans will virtually destroy the ecosystem, further reducing our ability to produce food.
We can't provide the societal infrastructure to care for all the people.

Our vulnerability to these factors is bas­ed on population density, the number of humans per unit of area. Since the Industrial Revolution, urbanization has caused a tremendous increase in population density in cities. The highest population density ever probably occurred in the Kowloon Walled City area of Hong Kong. At one point, about 50,000 people lived in a megablock that was about 150 meters by 200 meters in area [source: Tofu Magazine]. The virtually lawless district was evacuated and torn down to make way for a park. Today, the areas of greatest population density are obviously in major urban areas. India and China have large areas of intensely high population density .

As population density in a given area increases, it approaches what's known as the carrying capacity. This is the maximum number of humans an area is capable of supporting in terms of available resources. For animals, this is easy to calculate. A goat, for example, might need 50 square yards of grass to survive. An area of 200 square yards therefore has a carrying capacity of four goats. Calculating carrying capacity for humans is much more complex. We can use technology to improve our resource production. We can ship in resources from other areas. We can create sanitation systems and other infrastructure to support higher density.

Population Control
What happens when we reach carrying capacity in an area? There are several options:
People leave for a different area.
People become generally less healthy, and thus less able to reproduce.
Population pressure leads to war.
Unsanitary conditions and close proximity lead to a disease outbreak.

We improve resource generation and infrastructure, increasing the carrying capacity.
Humans are ­also capable of voluntarily controlling their own populations. This can occur on a large scale, like a ­government program or law, or at the individual level. Individuals have had far greater access to birth control since the 1960s. Governments can control populations by enforcing penalties for having too many children, by making it more advantageous to have fewer children, or by sterilizing people so they're unable to reproduce. Unfortunately, some governments have attempted to reduce or eliminate certain populations they view as undesirable by killing them off en masse -- this is known as genocide.

Since the 1970s, China has had an official policy forbidding most couples to have more than one child. Faced with tremendous population pressure, China levies hefty fines against anyone who violates the rule. The policy can be said to have achieved its goal, preventing an estimated 250 million births [source: BBC].
There are negative side effects, however. A cultural and religious preference for male children has led to abortions of many female fetuses, which in turn has led to a growing imbalance in China's male-to-female ratio. Shrinking populations in some areas have also caused economic problems. Dissidents and defectors claim that China engages in brutal human rights violations in the enforcement of the One-Child Policy

Population Shrinking
You might be surprised to learn that not everyone thinks a growing human population is a bad thing. In fact, some people think we're facing the opposite problem -- that our population isn't growing fast enough and might start shrinking.
How can that be? The simple answer is: birth control. Since the 1960s, when birth control pills became widely available to women in industrialized nations, the rate at which the world's population grows each year has dropped steadily [source: World Population Growth Rates]. This is becoming a problem in some countries, particularly if their population has been reduced by other factors such as disease or war. Russia is planning a program that would pay women cash grants for having children. Australia, Japan and several other nations have similar programs .

Why would a shrinking population be a bad thing? Wouldn't it be better if we used fewer natural resources and did less damage to the environment? It probably would be better in some ways. But it's also important to have a healthy world economy, and continual worldwide economic growth is largely fueled by population increase. People are consumers. More consumers equals more money. More money equals a healthier economy. ­
Population loss isn't a worldwide problem. There are plenty of humans, overall. It's only a problem in certain places where external factors have driven down the population. In these places, the population might get so low that it suffers from population collapse. This is the point at which the population is no longer large enough to support a functional economy. Any people that are left simply leave if they're able. Those who are too poor to move end up living in extreme poverty.
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India's Populations Problems
People with different cultures and languages have been living together in India for thousands of years. While there are hundreds of different languages on the subcontinent the official language is Hindi, while most people speak English too. About 80% of the Indian population is Hindu. Muslims are the biggest minority.
Today India is the home to over 1 billion people. By 2050 it will surpass China as the most populous country in the world. Experts think that India will reach a total of 1.8 billion before population growth begins to decrease. In contrast to China’s one-child policy, family planning in India has not been consistent. In the 1970s and 80s the government tried to control population growth by forcing people to have sterilizations. Today, however, there are signs that population growth is slowing down. Contraception is becoming widely available in many areas and especially Indian women in rural areas are being more educated.

Every Indian woman gets almost 3 children, compared to a little over one child per family in the west. As in many Asian societies children are needed to do work and care for family members when they get older. Boys are more valuable than girls, who marry at an early age. About a third of India’s population is under 14, which makes it one of the youngest countries on earth. Apart from that India still has the largest proportion of people who cannot read and write.
More than 70% of Indian people live in the countryside, in smaller villages and towns. As the rural population is becoming poorer more and more people are moving to the big cities where they live in overcrowded slums with no electricity or clean water. As a result, cities like Mumbai, Calcutta and New Delhi are exploding with people they have no jobs for.

Overpopulation in India is causing even more problems. An increasing population living on the same land will quickly use up the limited resources the country has. Medical conditions are getting worse and diseases are spreading faster. More and more Indians are living below the poverty line.
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Overpopulation Is Still the Problem
Overpopulation remains the leading driver of hunger, desertification, species depletion and a range of social maladies across the planet. Recently, a spate of op-ed essays have filled the pages of some of world's top newspapers and blogs -- from the Guardian to the New York Times -- challenged this view, declaring that overpopulations is not, nor has ever been, a problem. To make progress in the most recent round of the age-old debate between technological optimists and Malthusian realists, it's important to establish criteria and characterize consequences.

On what basis are these newest cornucopian assurances made? In the New York Times piece, for instance, Ellis Erle asserts that after studying the ecology of agriculture in China and talking to archaeologists, he reached the conclusion that technologies have always been able to overcome any anticipated exceedance of carrying capacity. A key corroboration marshaled for this view refers to a retrospective assessment of Chinese farming by archaeologists. It purportedly claims that new and more efficient technologies invariably enabled local farmers to overcome any anticipated exceedance of carrying capacity.

If food security is the criterion, it is particularly ironic that arguments are based on China. Anyone with a teaspoon of historic sensibilities about the country's environmental history might want to mention its long litany of famines which occurred precisely because carrying capacities were consistently outstripped by a growing population.

Conservative estimates report that China's most recent food crisis, between 1958 and 1961, led to the starvation of over twenty million people, in part due to the erosion of China's natural capital. Uncontrolled human fertility led to a depletion of the land's fertility. Previous famines were worse. Over the years, hundreds of millions died a horrible death of hunger. Their misery should teach a sobering lesson about insouciant disregard for the balance between human numbers and natural resources.

Chinese one-child policy has been tough medicine, and implementation was clearly flawed. But it also prevented the next round of famines that would have taken far more lives had China continued to race forward and became a nation of two billion. Even so, China today still needs to bolster local food supply by attaining lands overseas.

It gives little satisfaction for sustainable population advocates to point out that the past twenty years saw an estimated 200 million hunger-related deaths worldwide. Relatively few occurred in countries where population was stable. The U.N. reports that today one in eight people in the world suffers chronic undernourishment. Almost without exception, they live in developing regions, where most of the planet's population growth continues apace. If family planning had been energetically promoted years ago, enormous suffering could have been avoided.

Present global trends will lead to a doubling of the world's urban areas by 2050. That means that cities, mostly in developing countries, will expand from 3 to 6 percent of all-ice free land. It also means that 10 to 15 percent of lands farmed today would be taken out of production. In a perfect world we would have better ways of distributing surplus food to famine stricken regions or promoting land reform to optimize food production. But for the foreseeable future we will be living in a very imperfect world where communities need to take care of themselves and maintain sustainable populations.

Overpopulation is not just about food shortages and human suffering. Ecologists explain that the collapse in global biodiversity is also linked to overpopulation. China, Mexico and Brazil have been singled out as extreme cases of species loss. Brazil's population grew four fold during the past sixty years; little wonder the Amazon is feeling the pressure. Mexico and China's growth is comparable.

Israel offers a microcosm of the global situation: A meeting point of three continents, at the middle of the twentieth century, this tiny country was still home to an astonishing assemblage of mammals, birds and reptiles. That's because in 1949 there were one million people living in Israel. Today there are eight million. The equation is simple: more people means less wildlife. Accordingly, about a third of the country's 115 indigenous mammal species today are either endangered or critically endangered. The amphibian population is almost entirely extirpated.

Israel has a remarkable program of conservation and its powerful Nature and Parks Authority set aside 25% of the country for reserves. But growing human settlement continues to fragment habitats and undermine the benefits that nature provides. These go far beyond any individual organism. When humans encroach on open spaces, they also lose the free services that nature provides: filters for clean water, protection from hurricanes, natural pollinators, soil integrity and recreational resources. The rapid rise in populations also tends to sabotage basic social services: schools are crowded, medical care overwhelmed, the legal system backed up, transportation gridlock unbearable and accessible housing inadequate. Infrastructure has a very hard keeping up with relentless growth.

Technological Pollyannas suggest that today's technologies mean that we in the West needn't be concerned. But of course we should. There are global limits that affect us all. Even Israel, whose ultra-hi-tech agriculture probably yields more "crop per drop" than any other country is only able to produce 45% of the calories required for its growing population.

The good news is that public policy matters and can reduce overpopulation. Many countries, from Bangladesh and Iran to Singapore and Thailand adopted policies that incentify small families, make birth control available, provide better social security and most of all -- empower women. The results are remarkable, showing that trend need not be destiny. As population began to stabilize, the drop in undernourished people in Asia and the Pacific went down from 23.7 percent to 13.9 percent. The quality of education, housing and health improved as a matter course.

It is time to realize that there is a tradeoff between "quality of life" and "quantity of life." In a planet with limited resources -- sustainable growth is an oxymoron. Of course humanity could all shift to vegan diets, forgo national parks and crowd in a few more billion people, hoping that new levels of efficiency will allow us to survive. But it is well to ask if this really is the kind of world that we want? There is much we can do to reduce the suffering caused by human population growth. But recognizing that overpopulation is a perilous problem constitutes a critical first step.
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Why Population Matters
With the world confronting a host of major crises relating to climate, energy, severe poverty, food, the global economy and political instability, why should anyone be concerned about population? The simple answer is that virtually all of the major problems that confront the world today relate in some critical way to population growth.

While public concern about rapid population growth has subsided in recent decades, world population is still growing at about 80 million people a year, or about 220,000 people per day. If current trends persist, there will 2.5 billion more people on the planet by mid-century, bringing the total to about 9.2 billion. That projected population growth raises a host of questions about the future of humanity and the planet we inhabit.

Most importantly, will we be able to feed 9.2 billion people? This year, for the first time in history, over 1 billion people go to bed hungry every day. High food prices and the global economic recession have pushed 100 million more people than last year into chronic hunger and poverty. And, looking ahead, we know that climate change, rising energy prices, and growing water scarcity will make it harder, not easier, to grow the crops necessary to feed an expanding population. Mounting soil erosion and the loss of farm land will also add to the challenge of boosting food production.

And it's not just food that's potentially in short supply. Water scarcity is a growing concern. In many parts of the world today, major rivers at various times of the year no longer reach the ocean. In some areas, lakes are going dry and underground water aquifers are being rapidly depleted. And climate change, of course, will make the water situation even more critical. Drier areas will be more prone to drought, wetter areas more prone to flooding, and the summer runoff from snowpack and glaciers will diminish.

As food, water, and other resources are strained by the escalating demands of a growing world population, the number of environmental refugees in the world will rise…and so will the potential for conflict and civil war.

Fortunately, for all of us, there is one simple strategy that will help to address all these problems: provide universal access to voluntary family planning and reproductive health services. There are over 100 million women in the world today who want to space or limit their pregnancies, but who lack knowledge of, or access to, modern methods of contraception. By educating and empowering women, and giving them access to family planning services, we can save lives, strengthen families, fight poverty, preserve the environment, and help achieve a world population that can live in harmony with the planet.
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We plan to have content partner NGOs/NPOs from the following continents : Europe, North America & South America.
Their banner (190 px x 190 px) is free from now to March 2018.
It is not compulsory but will be good if they provide some relevant content of the folder in their continent. Just give 3 lines information and link to the website.
As a responsible organisation, our editorial has a defined view on the type of NGO here. Our email id is Datacentre.
The banner for NGO in Asia will be from countries other than India because India & Thane are our global examples and we will give a banner of 502 px x 40 px each to an NGO from India & Thane at the top of this folder.