The world population today reaches 8 billion; India will overtake China in 2023, says UN
According to United Nations estimates, the baby born somewhere on Tuesday will be the world’s eighth billionth baby.
“This milestone is an occasion to celebrate diversity and progress, while also considering humanity’s shared responsibility for the planet,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement.
People are living longer because of improvements in public health, nutrition, personal hygiene, and medicine, according to the U.N. Development of Human Development.
This results in high fertility rates, particularly in the world’s poorest countries—most of them in sub-Saharan Africa—putting their development goals at risk.
Population growth has also magnified the environmental impacts of economic growth.
But while some worry that eight billion people are too many for the planet, most experts say the bigger problem is overuse of resources by the rich.
“Some people worry that our world is overpopulated,” said Natalia Ganem, head of the United Nations Population Fund. “Let me be clear here that the number of human lives is not a cause for fear.”
Joel Cohen of Rockefeller University’s Population Laboratory told AFP that there are two sides to the question of how many people Earth can support: natural limits and human choices.
Our choices result in humans consuming far more biological resources, such as forests and land, than the planet can regenerate each year.
Excessive consumption of fossil fuels, for example, leads to more carbon dioxide emissions, which cause global warming.
Mr. Cohen said.
However, he rejects the idea that humans are a curse on the planet, saying that people should be given better choices.
The current population is three times the 2.5 billion in 1950.
However, after a peak in the early 1960s, the world’s population growth rate has slowed dramatically, Rachel Snow of the U.N. Population Fund told AFP.
Annual growth has declined from a peak of 2.1% between 1962 and 1965 to less than 1% in 2020.
The United Nations projects that this could drop to 0.5% by 2050 due to continued declines in fertility rates.
The U.N. predicts that the population will grow to 8.5 billion in 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050, and 10.4 billion in the 2080s.
However, other groups have calculated different figures.
A 2020 study by the US-based Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) estimates that the world’s population will increase from 10 billion by 2064 and decline to 8.8 billion by 2100.
Since the first humans appeared in Africa two million years ago, the world’s population has ballooned, with only quick pauses in the number of people sharing the Earth.
Our ancestors were hunter-gatherers who had fewer children compared to later settlers to maintain a nomadic lifestyle.
The introduction of agriculture during the Neolithic period around 10,000 BC brought about the first known large population influx.
With agriculture came the ability to sit down and store food, which raised the birth rate.
The world population rose from about six million in 10,000 BC to 100 million in 2,000 BC and then to 250 million in the first century AD, according to the French Institute for Demographic Studies.
As a result of the Black Death, the human population dropped from 429 to 374 million between 1300 and 1400.
Other events, such as the Justinian Plague that struck the Mediterranean in the first two centuries 541-767, and the early medieval wars in Western Europe caused a temporary decline in the number of humans on Earth.
Beginning in the 19th century, the population began to explode due to the development of modern medicine and the industrialization of agriculture, which increased the global food supply.
Since 1800, the world’s population has increased eightfold, from one billion to eight billion.
The development of vaccines was important, helping to eradicate smallpox in particular, one of history’s greatest killers.