Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 05/2009

Population Trends: Humanity in Transition

Joseph Chamie

June 2007

International Peace Institute


During the twenty-first century billions of people are expected to join the world’s current population of 6.7 billion.Virtually all of these newcomers will be born in the less developed countries of the world, and many in the least-developed. In addition to this enormous growth of humanity, major global population trends and significant demographic differentials are interacting with powerful forces of globalization, resulting in mounting critical challenges to human well-being, social and economic development, international relations, and security. In particular, these challenges are impacting (1) social, economic, and environmental conditions and human well-being; (2) political participation and representation; and (3) international relations among countries and regions as well as between groups within countries.