– POPULATION GROWTH –
It is widely believed that the world’s population has exploded because of the improvements in medical science, which has naturally led to improved standards of public health. Infant mortality has been greatly reduced and the average length of life has been extended on a great scale.
Demographers, or population statisticians, are less alarmed by the absolute rise in the world population figures than by the increase in the rate of growth. They estimate that it will take only about 30 years for the world population to double. Pessimists expect this soaring growth to continue until the limits of food, space and natural resources are forced. It is not easy to find solutions to problems caused by population growth. In fact, effective action is lacking because of our inability to decide exactly where the problems lie.
For example, many millions of people do not have enough to eat, but at the same time we could argue that the world is not over-populated in relation to its food supply at the present time. The total cultivable land is more than 15 billion acres. Using modem agricultural methods, we could produce more than enough food for the present population of about 5 billion.
It appears, then, that the world’s population could be almost three times as large before there is a serious shortage of food. But it is unlikely that all the cultivable land would be used for food production. If this were done, there would not be any land left to meet man’s increasing demand for houses, factories, airports, roads and other facilities.
A. Find words or phrases in the text which mean the same as the following.
1. death in infancy (paragraph 1):
2. population statisticians (paragraph 2):
3. extremely rapid increase (paragraph 2): 4. suitable for agriculture (paragraph 3):
B. Mark the best choice.
1. Which of the following is not a consequence of the improvements in medical science?
a) Fewer deaths in infancy.
b) Longer length of life.
c) Decrease in population.
d) Higher public health standards.
2. Demographers are alarmed more by .
a) the rise in the number of people in the world
b) the increase in the rate of population growth
c) the solutions to the problem caused by population growth
d) the people who argue that the world is not over-populated
3. We can say that the world is not over-populated if we consider
a) its present food supply
b) the increasing demand for housing
c) the serious shortage of food
d) the problems caused by population growth
4. If all the cultivable land were used for food production,
a) there would be a serious shortage of food
b) the population growth would be controlled
c) no land would be left for housing and other facilities
d) part of the world population would not have enough to eat