4.7.11

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.