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Some of the world’s top scientists sent a message to world leaders address human overpopulation and consumption. The urging came from the world’s 105 scientific academies, ahead of the United Nations’ Rio +20 summit.

After remaining stable for most of human history, the world's population has exploded over the last two centuries. The boom is not over: The biggest generation in history is just entering its childbearing years. The coming wave will reshape the planet, and the impact will be greatest in the poorest, most unstable countries.

Of the 2 billion or more people who will be added to the planet by 2050, 97% are expected to be born in Africa, Asia and Latin America, led by the poorest, most volatile countries.

China, by varying estimates, has more than 100 cities with 1 million or more residents, compared with 9 in the United States. The number of million-plus cities will reach 221 within two decades, according to the McKinsey Global Institute, an economics research firm.

Nonetheless, there are billions of people who still live in poverty around the world, who live on less than $2 per day. Why are they poor? It isn't because there are a lot of them. It’s because, for the most part, they live in countries that lack economic freedom!

Population growth rate, people per square metre