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It's 2025. Where do most people live?

Researchers at the Center for Climate Systems Research (CCSR), a part of The Earth Institute, have developed a high-resolution map of projected population change for the year 2025.

The innovative map shows a world with large areas of population loss in parts of Eastern Europe and Asia, but significant gains elsewhere. see full map

The work, Mapping the Future, is the result of collaboration between CCSR, Hunter College and Population Action International (PAI) and was released this spring in conjunction with an update of PAI's Web feature, People in the Balance, investigating the relationship between human population and critical natural resources.

The map indicates that the greatest increases in population density through 2025 are likely to occur in areas of developing countries that are already quite densely populated. In addition, the number of people living within 60 miles of a coastline is expected to increase by 35 percent over 1995 population levels, exposing 2.75 billion people worldwide to the effects of sea level rise and other coastal threats posed by global warming.

The map also projects that much of southern and Eastern Europe and Japan will experience significant and wide-spread population decline. Surprisingly, the map further suggests small areas of projected population decline for many regions in which they might be least expected: sub-Saharan Africa, Central and South America, the Philippines, Nepal, Turkey, Cambodia, Burma and Indonesia -- areas that have to date been experiencing rapid-to-modest national population growth.

"By bridging these two areas of demography -- mapping and long-range, aggregate projections -- we're getting a better idea of where people are likely to live in the future and why," said Stuart Gaffin, associate research scientist at CCSR and lead scientist on the project. "Hopefully, work like ours will play a central role in improving environmental policies around the world and in
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Contact: Ken Kostel
kkostel@ei.columbia.edu
212-854-9729
The Earth Institute at Columbia University
18-Jul-2006


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