Climate Change and Human Migration
Eroding Shore Lines and Floods
Climate change in the late 20th and early 21st centuries caused consider4ble human migration away from areas that became too hostile for living. This migration included First Nations and Native Americans that moved away from the area around the Alaskan North Shore because the shoreline was eroded up to there villages. They needed to move at least 60 miles inland to escape the flooding and to find new food sources.
Europe is expected by 2050 to have a base population, on average, at age 47 years - up from age 39 in 2008. Senior citizens are expected to outnumber children so that there will be twice as many elderly as children in Europe. Into this population, people will migrate form Greenland, the Middle East, Northern Africa, and possibly India and even as far away as China. As the shorelines erode and the deserts widen, people will move inward toward the EU.
Particularly interesting is that while the Arab world is rich in oil, it is poor in water and growing poorer, relying on Israel and other nations for fresh, clean water.
A coworker of mine visited the site of his childhood home in New Jersey in 1998 and found that the shoreline had eroded to leave his old neighborhood under water.
Global Population Clocks
World-O-Meters World Clock - Total Population Updates
- Seven billion reached by December 31, 2011.
- Seven billion, 65 million reached by August 23, 2018.
- Seven billion, 77 million reached by April 30, 2020.
The 2010 US Census (CENSUS2010)
Most Populous US States
- California - 37,253,956
- Texas - 25,145,561
- New York - 19,378,102
- Florida - 18,801,310
- Illinois - 12,830,632
- Pennsylvania - 12,702,379
- Ohio - 11,536,504
- Michigan - 9,883,640
- Georgia - 9,687,653
- North Carolina - 9,535,483: Displaced New Jersey to number 11.
States 11 - 20 in CENSUS2010
11. New Jersey - 8,791,894: Dropped from 10th to 11th place in Census2010
12. Virginia - 8,001,024
13. Washington - 6,724,540
14. Massachusetts - 6,547,629
15. Indiana - 6,483,802
16. Arizona - 6,329,017
17. Missouri - 5,988,927
18. Maryland - 5,773,552
19. Wisconsin - 5,686,986
20. Minnesota - 5,303,925
USA - Baby Boom in 2007
Top 10 Most Populous Nations, 2010 - 2011
Data are from the CIA Factobook and the US Census Bureau
- China - 1,330,141,295
- India - 1,173,108,018
- United States - 310,232,863 (mid-2011)
- Indonesia - 242,968,342
- Brazil - 201,103,330
- Pakistan - 177,276,594
- Bangladesh - 158,065,841
- Nigeria - 152,217,341
- Russia - 139,390,205 (Declined since last count - see trable below)
- Japan - 126,804,433 (Declined again since last count)
- Mexico - 112,468,855
- Philippines - 99,900,177
- Vietnam - 89,571,130 (significant increase)
- Ethiopia - 88,013,491 (significant increase)
- Germany - 82,282,988
- Egypt - 80,471,869
- Turkey - 77,804,122 (significant increase)
- Democratic Republic of Congo - 70,916,439 (significant increase)
- Islamic Republic of Iran - 67,037,517
- Thailand - 66,404,688
In researching the current populations of the nations of the world, one finds conflicting data on the Internet. Some of this data is that available from the CIA World Factbook. Other figures come from United Nations estimates. Still others originate with the US Census Bureau.
While the United States government and private sectors can boast of some of the world's leading scientists, mathematicians and statisticians, this fact does not mean that America has accurate access to the numbers of all people living in all foreign countries. This fact is borne out in the conflicting data found. However, there is enough information available and the population clocks are excellent enough to provide some convincing evidence of population sizes and growth trends.
In addition, people are being born and killed every minute all around the globe and this cannot be stopped. This makes population counts almost a "continuous variable" like blood pressure -- Blood pressure is different second by second, but if you stop it to take an accurate never-changing count, the patient dies. This is simply a source of statistical error in population counts and accounts for some of the conflict.
However, some of the data found for July 16, 2007 [see the table] shows that certain populations in particular nations decreased in just one or two months or even less time. This cannot be a looseness in the figures, but indicates that something else is happening. This could be mistakes in estimates, deaths from famine or war, mass migrations, or a number of other possibilities.
It does seem certain that France dropped off the Top 20 list into 21st place, though. Where are the French going?
World Populations by 2050
US Census and UN Statistics
In the year 2050, the Top 10 Populated Countries are expected to be:
- India - 1,628,000,000 (1.628 billion)
- China - 1,437,000,000 (1.437 billion)
- United States - 420,000,000 (420 million)
- Nigeria - 299,000,000
- Pakistan - 295,000,000
- Indonesia - 285,000,000
- Brazil - 260,000,000
- Bangladesh - 231,000,000
- Democratic Republic of Congo - 183,000,000
- Ethiopia - 145,000,000
The Eastern Hemisphere, estimates 2005 - 2007
Most Populous Countries in Africa
- Nigeria 125,750,356
- Egypt 76,117,421
- Ethiopia 71,336,571
- Congo 58,317,930
- South Africa 44,448,470
Most Populous Countries in Asia
- China 1,298,847,624
- India 1,065,070,607
- Indonesia 238,452,952
- Pakistan 159,196,336
- Bangladesh 141,340,476
Most Populous Countries in Europe
- Russia 143,974,059
- Germany 82,424,609
- France 60,424,213
- United Kingdom 60,270,708
- Italy 58,057,477
- Ukraine 47,732,079
- Spain 40,280,780
- Poland 38,626,349
- Romania 22,355,551
- Netherlands 16,318,199
Most Populous Countries in the Middle East
- Iran 67,503,205
- Saudi Arabia 25,795,938
- Iraq 25,374,691
- Yemen 20,024,867
- Syria 18,016,874
Most Populous Countries in Oceania
- Australia 19,913,144
- New Zealand 3,993,817
- Fiji 880,874
- Solomon Islands 523,617
Western Hemisphere Population Estimates 2005 - 2007
Most Populous Countries in the Caribbean
- Cuba 11,308,764
- Dominican Republic 8,833,634
- Haiti 7,942,419
- Jamaica 2,713,130
- Trinidad and Tobago 1,096,585
Most Populous Countries in Central America
- Guatemala 14,280,596
- Honduras 6,823,568
- El Salvador 6,587,541
Most Populous Countries in South America
- Brazil 184,101,109
- Colombia 42,310,775
- Argentina 39,144,753
- Peru 27,544,305
- Venezuela 25,017,387
Nations With the Largest Economies (GDP) in CENSUS2010
- United States $11,750,000,000,000
- China $7,262,000,000,000
- Japan $3,745,000,000,000
- India $3,319,000,000,000
- Germany $2,362,000,000,000
- United Kingdom $1,782,000,000,000
- France $1,737,000,000,000
- Italy $1,609,000,000,000
- Brazil $1,492,000,000,000
- Russia $1,408,000,000,000
- Canada $1,023,000,000,000
- Mexico $1,006,000,000,000
- Spain $937,600,000,000
- South Korea $925,100,000,000
- Indonesia $827,400,000,000
INTERSTELLAR HUMAN MIGRATION
The Mars Society is pushing for Martian colonization in part to ease Earth's population woes. They do some fascinating things, like having volunteers living in Marscapes of a sort in the desert of the American West as a training and research mission. Other groups are being created to think of additional ideas for population overgrowth on our planet.
To the Moon and Mars
Whatever the most accurate numbers for the leading top 20 nations in population, it is a certainty that the world is filling up with people. If it continues to do so, it will one day be able to support no more people - not even one more.
This has been the topic of science fiction and science research for decades.
In the 1980s, a group of doctors in my home state of Ohio drew up a proposal for a Medical Moon Base for chronic victims of uncontrollable hypertension and related maladies.
Inhabitants of such a base might include a lot of people, acting as an escape valve to siphon off some of the populations of Earth. On the Moon, with only 1/5 the gravity of our home planet, blood pressures would decrease for these patients. However, they might not be able to get back to Earth, because returning, if they survived the G-forces of re-entry, would raise their blood pressures so quickly and dramatically that they would likely suffer strokes.
At the same time as this proposal, other interested parties decided that the Moon should become a penal colony just as Australia was when formed and was first settled by prisoners.
This is likely not a workable solution to overpopulation. However, a good story about the possibility is The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein, first published in 1966. It is also about about the penal colony's revolt against the Earth government, filled with interesting and libertarian views, as well as an English language laced with Russian terms.
Written in the middle of the Cold War, Harsh Mistress was a pointed conceptual focus - colonies combining elements from former enemies for survival on a new world. It is a good piece of science fiction with an interesting ending. It won the HUGO award for Sci-Fi.
- NASA; NISDC, National Snow & Ice Data Center.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2007 Patty Inglish MS