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Population

The world's population is currently growing at a rate of about 79 million people per year. World population surpassed 6.8 billion in early 2009. U.N. projections for the year 2050, depending on various assumptions, range from slightly less than 8 billion to slightly more than 11 billion, with a median of slightly above 9.1 billion (Engelman). Population growth, coupled with consumption, stresses the Earth's natural resources and contributes to environmental degradation, but population cannot be considered in isolation from other demands on resources and the disparities of levels of consumption and resource use between differing parts of the world.

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