cover image 8 Billion and Counting: How Sex, Death and Migration Shape Our World

8 Billion and Counting: How Sex, Death and Migration Shape Our World

Jennifer D. Sciubba. Norton, $28.95 (304p) ISBN 978-1-324-00270-3

Sciubba (The Future Faces of War), an international studies professor at Rhodes College, looks at how population trends shape the world in this sobering survey. According to Sciubba, human population growth is a story of inequality. On average, 240 babies are born every minute in the world’s least developed countries; by contrast, 25 are born per minute in the most developed ones, she writes, and some of the world’s youngest countries are also the most autocratic and poor. In looking at population rates, she covers familiar ground regarding young women in developing countries without access to contraception, and outlines some countrywide measures to balance or increase population, as well, such as the sterilization of Indian men in the late 1960s under Indira Gandhi and the monthly fertility checkups Romanian women were formerly subjected to at their workplaces. The planet’s population is set to continue increasing, Sciubba writes, urging administrations worldwide to enact policies that account for demographic trends, and powerfully concluding that the main question to consider is, “How can we use the 8 billion people we have on the planet today to shape the world we want tomorrow?” Comprehensive and full of incisive analysis, this is not to be missed. (Mar.)