Since the dawn of human history, the population has been growing. At first it did so exceedingly slowly, with seemingly endless resources at our disposal. Over the last few centuries population growth has rapidly accelerated. Many people believe that this growth is exponential, and if you isolate the last century or 2, it is. However, we are reaching the carrying capacity of the earth, and the curve is actually beginning to level off. This is logistical population growth, following a sigmoidal or S-Shaped curve (For example). The population is projected to reach a stable level of somewhere around 10 billion people by around 2050.
The mechanism of this leveling off is called the demographic transition. In the developing world, birth rates are high, as are death rates. First death rates decrease, mostly through improved sanitation. This creates a population bulge for a few generations. Once people realize they don’t need to have 8 children for 3 to survive, the birth rate also decreases. This happened in the US at around the turn of the 20th century. This process is currently happening around the world. Incidentally, the most surefire way to decrease birth rates more quickly is educating women.
So we are living in an historically unprecedented time for our species. The panoply of world problems facing us is almost too terrifying to consider. However, if we are able to live through this time of population stabilization, we may actually be able to craft a world that works for everyone. I optimistically envision a fair distribution of resources, a managed ecosphere for maximum food production with minimum impact (for example, permaculture), and preservation of wild places. At minimum, all people need clean water, ample healthy food, shelter, access to medical care. This would largely end the call for warfare (if we can silence or ignore warmongering profiteers). Like it or not, we are living through this critical time in the evolution of our humanity. I don’t think it is too melodramatic to say that survival will require an evolution of our collective heart-mind, rather than our physical bodies.