The world at seven billion

  • 21 October 2011
  • From the section World

Over the next week the BBC News website will be looking at the issues raised by the growth in the world's population. But how are these changes affecting people's daily lives? BBC News speaks to seven people from around the world to hear their stories.

United Kingdom: Ageing population

Media captionPopulation seven billion: The UK's ageing population

In the UK, as people live longer, the population is getting older. The BBC's Naomi Grimley visited 85-year-old Helen Morse who still lives independently in a London suburb.

Italy: One child families

Media captionPopulation seven billion: Italy's one child families

Despite a rising world population, the Italian population is in decline. The UN estimates it could shrink by as much as a third by the next century.

The number of children each Italian woman has is the lowest in Europe, at 1.4. The BBC's Sarah Campbell went to Rome to visit Paola Mastroberarbino and Stefano Maestosi, who have one daughter.

Jordan: Chronic water shortage

Media captionPopulation seven billion: Jordan's chronic water shortage

In Jordan, as more people demand water, it is becoming increasingly scarce. This chronic shortage has caused prices to double over the last year.

The BBC's Tom Burridge went to visit farmer Mousa Ouran just outside Amman.

India: Can India feed its people?

Media captionPopulation seven billion: Can India feed its people?

In India, as land is split between families and the cost of farming increases, the BBC's Sanjoy Majumder asks if the country can feed its 1.2bn people.

He went to meet farmer Chandra Singh in the state of Punjab.

Media captionPopulation seven billion: growing numbers in Zambia

In Zambia, the UN predicts that the population could triple by 2050, reaching 100 million by the end of the century.

There is concern that this rapidly rising population will hamper economic growth and condemn future generations to poverty.

The BBC's Fergus Walsh went to a village just outside Lusaka to visit Catherine and Robert Phiri, who have just had a baby girl.

United States: Growing consumption

Media captionPopulation seven billion: Growing consumption in the US

In the US, consumer spending drives the economy. Americans spend $10tn every year.

Jane O'Brien went on a shopping trip with Sonia Rodriguez-Crane, whose spending has increased since she moved to the US from Mexico.

China: Migrant workers and technology

Media captionPopulation seven billion: How technology is connecting populous China

In China, technology is helping to create business opportunities and connect the populous country.

The BBC's Martin Patience went to Shenzhen to find out how mobile job hunting is helping migrant workers. He spoke to the founder of the company, Zhixiang Liu.