Population growth calls for economic development

November 14, 2011

The challenge posed to the world by the birth of its seven billionth inhabitant isn't how to stop population growth, but to find ways to ensure the continued growth can benefit all humanity, said an article in the Vatican newspaper.

According to the United Nations, the world's population hit – and quickly exceeded – seven billion Oct. 31.

At a time when people are talking again about overpopulation, "it's worth asking which overpopulation we're talking about," said Cristian Martini Grimaldi, writing on the front page of L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper.

The author said people talk as if population growth in some parts of the world or some individual countries is so exaggerated that it's like an "abnormal growth" on part of a diseased body or a form of gigantism.

"Perhaps the point isn't to stop growth, but how to continue to grow," specifically by "emphasizing development that does not privilege only a few, but all," he said.