According to a recent report from the United Nations, the world population continues to grow. It is over 5 billion now. It could reach 8.4 billion in the year 2025.
But during the past 10 years or so, a large and rapid drop in the world's birth rate has taken place.Families generally are smaller now than they were a few years ago. It is happening in both developing and developed countries.
China is such a country that has already cut its rate of population growth by about one half since ! 970. Each Chinese family has no more than one child. And the hope is to reach a zero population growth rate by 2010.
Several countries in Europe already have a negative growth rate. Experts say that these countries could face a serious shortage of workers in the future. And the persons who are working could face much higher taxes to help support the growing number of retirees.
很多欧洲国家已经出现人口负增长。 专家预测，这些国家将会在未来遭遇严重的劳动力不足。 而工作的人们将面临比现在高得多的税收以负担日益增长的退休人口。