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University of Southampton hosts debate on world population at 7-billion

Published: 
26 October 2011
World population at 7-billion
What will the 7 billionth person mean for the world?

Social scientists at the University of Southampton are bringing together academics, policy-makers, teachers, young adults and other members of the public to debate what the birth of the 7-billionth person will mean for the world and the challenges ahead as the global population continues to grow.

United Nations demography experts predict world population will reach 7-billion by the end of October 2011, with the 7-billionth person born on the 31st of the month.

This significant moment is being marked with an evening of debate in London on Monday 31 October 2011, organised by the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) Centre for Population Change, based at the University of Southampton and at a consortium of Scottish Universities.

Director of the CPC and Professor of Demography at the University of Southampton, Jane Falkingham says, “This landmark population figure brings into focus a whole series of questions about what we need to address globally in the face of a growing, diverse and ageing population. For example, questions about food security, energy needs and social care. It is these kinds of issues we’ll be discussing.

“We have brought together a wide-range of people from sixth-form students, to MPs, to experts in demography – to explore different perspectives on where rising population will lead and what it will mean for societies.”

‘The World at 7 Billion’ is part of the ESRC’s Festival of Social Science and will take a Question Time style format, with an audience and panel of guests generating debate. Speakers include; MP for Gordon in Scotland, Malcolm Bruce; Chair of ‘Population Matters’, Roger Martin; Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen and social statistician, Professor Ian Diamond; and Director of the CPC, Professor Jane Falkingham. The debate at The Abbey Centre, 34 Great Smith Street, Westminster will be chaired by ESRC Chief Executive Paul Boyle.

The ESRC Centre for Population Change conducts research into modelling population growth, as well as a range of themes including fertility and family formation, living arrangements, migration and ageing. It brings together expertise from the universities of Southampton, St Andrews, Edinburgh, Strathclyde, Stirling and Dundee, as well the Office for National Statistics and the National Records of Scotland.

For further information about the event, please visit: http://www.cpc.ac.uk/events/?action=story&id=88

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