What’s the Ideal Number of Humans on Earth?

26 Dec 2017   Population

Earth might be looking a little worse for wear, after the last four-hundred years of reckless wide-scale resource extraction, but to its credit it hasn’t collapsed entirely. Despite our best efforts, it continues to gamely welcome our rapidly expanding population, barring the occasional earthquake. Whether the planet might be a little better off with fewer of us is a different question, a freighted one. We are not advocating for reducing the population. We like the population. We wish it well. What we are curious about, in this week’s Giz Asks , is what the planet’s population size would be in an ideal world. Have we blown past that number, or can we pack a few billion more in here before the whole thing falls apart? The economists, geographers, conservationists and population experts we spoke to were, with some exceptions, a bit more optimistic about the Earth’s capacity than you […]

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