All stand, please!

In 1968 John Brunner, a British novelist, worked out that the entire world’s population of 3.5 billion could stand shoulder to should on an island the size of the Isle of Man (572 km²). In 1950 the earth’s 2.5 billion people could have squeezed on to the Isle of Wight (381 km²). He prophesised that by 2010 there would be 7 billion people, and they would fit on an island the size of Zanzibar (1,554 km²).
The result was his novel Stand on Zanzibar which centred on the consequences of overpopulation. His societal predictions were not fulfilled, but he was only a year out in workingout when the earth would welcome number 7,000,000,000.

And what happens next to the world’s population? TheUN has predicted that by 2050 there will be 9.3 billion. This future world would need an island the size of Tenerife (Spain) or Maui (Hawaii, USA) to fit its burgeoning populations.


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