Magazine article The Futurist

Population Densities in 2020

Magazine article The Futurist

Population Densities in 2020

Article excerpt

Population density will increase rapidly in several developing countries whose density is already among the world's highest, according to a report by the U.S. Bureau of the Census.

"Increasing population density may facilitate social interactions and make economic transactions more efficient," says Ellen Jamison, author of the report. "But it may also place stress on community and environmental systems, especially when the increase is rapid."

Many of these nations are in sub-Saharan Africa. For example, Rwanda now contains 820 people per square mile, compared with a world average of 107. By the year 2020, the country's population density will leap to approximately 2,280 people per square mile. Other sub-Saharan nations whose currently high density is expected to more than double in the next 30 years include Burundi, Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, and Uganda.

"The large expected increases in population density, in spite of assumptions that fertility will decline steadily in the future, will undoubtedly exacerbate the problems such countries are already facing" in providing food, employment, housing, and health care for their citizens, notes the report. …

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