The World's Population
An Encyclopedia of Critical Issues, Crises, and Ever-Growing Countries
by Fred M. Shelley
December 2014, 407pp, 7 x 10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-61069-506-0
$108, £84, 94€, A148
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-1-61069-507-7
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With over 7 billion inhabitants, can the earth continue to sustain its population?

This one-volume encyclopedia examines key topics, major world players, and imminent problems pertaining to the world's ever-growing population.

According to the United Nations, the population of our planet reached 7 billion people in 2011. What areas of the world have the most people? What measures, if any, are in place to control the population? Why is Europe’s population shrinking, while the rest of the world is growing? This eye-opening encyclopedia answers questions like these by examining significant issues and topics relating to the population and exploring profiles of the most populated countries and cities of the world.

More than 100 alphabetically arranged entries focus on such topics as census, demography, megacity, overpopulation, and urban sprawl. Author Fred M. Shelley, an accomplished academic in the field of environmental sustainability, reveals the steps taken by major cities such as Rio de Janeiro, Paris, Tokyo, Beijing, Mexico City, Seoul, Manila, and New Delhi in handling their population, and what is being done in China and other countries to prevent overcrowding. The text includes a discussion of how factors like migration patterns, war, and disease impact population change. This comprehensive encyclopedia also includes primary document excerpts from court cases, legislation, and political speeches relating to population issues.


  • Provides interesting facts and figures through informative sidebars
  • Reveals the populations of major countries and cities of the world to illustrate where people reside most and least
  • Features maps, charts, and graphs to support visual learning and to compare and contrast factors affecting birth rates, deaths, and overall population profiles
  • Contains excerpts from documents such as legislation and speeches relating to population and critical issues
  • Examines the implications of China's one-child policy on controlling the population
Fred M. Shelley is professor of geography in the department of geography and environmental sustainability at the University of Oklahoma. His published works include ABC-CLIO's Nation Shapes: The Story behind the World's Borders; Atlas of the Great Plains; and Atlas of the 2008 Elections. He received his doctorate from the University of Iowa. His research interests include political geography; the global political economy; and the political, economic, and cultural geography of the United States.


"Overall, this encyclopedia provides a great introduction to a complicated and multifaceted topic and is an accessible starting point for those seeking to gain understanding of the complexity of issues related to population and the global implications."—Booklist, May 1, 2015

"Overall, students and nonspecialists alike will find this work very useful; it is suitable for both public and academic libraries. Summing Up: Recommended. Undergraduates; general readers."—Choice, July 1, 2015

"This encyclopedia is best suited for secondary school level, community colleges, lower level university and public libraries."—Reference Reviews, December 4, 2015
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