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Chicago Fed Letter, No. 169, September 2001
The World's Population Conundrum

In October 1999, the world’s population nudged past the six billion mark, according to United Nations (UN) estimates. As this publication goes to press less than two years later, an additional 160 million plus individuals have been added to the tally—a number that is roughly equivalent to the current combined populations of France, Spain, and the UK. Even more striking is the fact that it took less than 40 years for the world’s population to double from three billion people in 1960. Can we expect the population to continue to grow at this pace? And, what are the implications of current and projected population growth for the world economy and the economies of individual countries and regions?



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