World population to top 8 billion in November amid long-term slowdown

World population to top 8 billion in November amid long-term slowdown

July 11 (UPI) — The world’s population will reach 8 billion in November, United Nations researchers said Monday, marking a milestone moment even as the global growth rate continues a long-term slowdown.

The Earth’s 8 billionth inhabitant will be born on Nov. 15, according to the U.N.’s latest World Population Prospects 2022 report, released to mark World Population Day.

That reflects a continuing slowdown of the global population growth rate, which has reached its lowest ebb since 1950 after falling below 1% in 2020.

According to the U.N.’s latest projections, the world’s population could grow to around 8.5 billion in 2030 and 9.7 billion in 2050, with a projected peak of around 10.4 billion people during the 2080s.

Meanwhile, the researchers determined that India will surpass China as the world’s most populous country in 2023.

“This year’s World Population Day falls during a milestone year, when we anticipate the birth of the Earth’s eight billionth inhabitant,” U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said in a statement. “This is an occasion to celebrate our diversity, recognize our common humanity, and marvel at advancements in health that have extended lifespans and dramatically reduced maternal and child mortality rates.”

But, he cautioned, it is also “a reminder of our shared responsibility to care for our planet and a moment to reflect on where we still fall short of our commitments to one another.”

In contrast to the pervasive worries about global overpopulation in the 1960s and 1970s, the world has instead seen steadily declining fertility for several decades, especially in developed countries.

The latest U.N. population report showed that trend is continuing, with two-thirds of the global population now living in a country or area where lifetime fertility is below 2.1 births per woman — roughly the level required for zero growth in the long run for a population with low mortality.

Indeed, populations in more than 60 countries or areas are projected to decrease by 1% or more between 2022 and 2050.

The majority of world population growth through 2050 is projected to be concentrated in just eight countries — the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and Tanzania.

The prevalence of population growth in Africa’s sub-Saharan countries will make efforts to ease poverty there significantly tougher, said Liu Zhenmin, U.N. under-secretary-general for economic and social affairs.

“Rapid population growth makes eradicating poverty, combatting hunger and malnutrition, and increasing the coverage of health and education systems more difficult,” he said.


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