The demographic dividend

Three weeks ago the world's population passed seven billion with predictions that it could reach 15 billion by the end of the century. Naturally the emphasis of media stories was on the planet's ability to support such a figure and the stark environmental dangers of a population explosion.  Certainly the figures are staggering. It took 250,000 years for the global population to reach 1 billion, another century to reach 2 billion and 32 years more to reach 3 billion. However,  ...