With 267 people being born every minute and 108 dying, the world's population will top seven billion next year, a research group projects.
The ratio of working-age adults to support the elderly in developed countries declines precipitously because of lower birthrates and longer life spans.
In a sobering assessment of those two trends, William P. Butz, president of the Population Reference Bureau, said that "chronically low birthrates in developed countries are beginning to challenge the health and financial security of the elderly" at the same time that "developing countries are adding over 80 million to the population each year and the poorest of those countries are adding 20 million. Asia will add 1.3 billion.
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