Population 7 Billion

The United Nations Population Fund estimates that in one week, on October 31, 2011, the world's population will reach 7 billion. Just 200 years ago, there were only 1 billion people on the planet, and over the next 150 years, that number grew to 3 billion. But in the past 50 years, the global population has more than doubled, and the UN projects that it could possibly grow to 15 billion by the year 2100. As the international organization points out, this increasing rate of change brings with it enormous challenges. Meeting the basic needs of so many will mean growing, shipping, and distributing more food while providing more clean water, health care, and shelter -- all without inflicting too much further damage on our environment.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Joseph Eid / AFP / Getty

    Photos of the Week: Watery Labyrinth, Giza Necropolis, Wuhan Opera

    Movie-making in Italy, a drive-in viewing of the World Series in Los Angeles, a church set ablaze in Chile, wildfires in Colorado, balloon crop-spraying in China, rescued huskies in Russia, and much more

  • Athit Perawongmetha / Reuters

    Photos: Prodemocracy Protests in Thailand

    A recent string of demonstrations against Thailand’s military-backed government continues despite crackdowns by officials.

  • Maxim Shemetov / Reuters

    Fall Is in the Air: Images of the Season

    Bundle up, maybe grab a mug of hot cider, and enjoy this batch of recent fall photos.

  • Dhughes9 / iStockphoto / Getty

    Texas: Images of the Lone Star State

    A few glimpses of the landscape of Texas, and some of the animals and people calling it home