Briefing A look at global population trends

Too many people is a big problem, but too few is a concern as well.

Mary Knox Merrill/The Christian Science Monitor/File

The story of the 21st century has been one of falling birthrates, rising standards of living, and a revolution in food production. But the global picture is uneven: As populations decline in wealthier nations, in other countries – particularly in Africa, says a new report – they are rising at rates that may mire their people in poverty.