On November 15, the world’s population is projected to reach 8 billion people, a milestone in human development. This unprecedented growth is due to the gradual increase in human lifespan owing to public health, nutrition, personal hygiene and medicine improvements. It is also the result of high and persistent levels of fertility in some countries.
The projection was revealed in UN World Population Prospects 2022 by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs released on World Population Day on July 11 this year but is gaining traction now as the projected deadline is just days away.
The report further states that India will replace China as the world’s most populous nation in 2023. It projects that more than half the projected increase in population up to 2050 will be concentrated in just eight countries: Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and Tanzania.
In 1974, the world had 4 billion people. The United Nations estimates the global population will have doubled to 8 billion by mid-November 2022, a period of just 48 years.
While it took the global population 12 years to grow from 7 to 8 billion, it will take approximately 15 years—until 2037— for it to reach 9 billion, a sign that the overall growth rate of the global population is slowing.
According to the most recent UN estimates, the population of the world could increase to about 8.5 billion people in 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050, and then peak at about 10.4 billion during the 2080s and is expected to stay at that level till 2100.
The agency also stated that the global population growth fell below one per cent in 2020 for the first time since 1950.
UN Secretary-General’s statement
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday gave a review of the mixed implications, urging the world community to seize opportunities and take actions to bridge divides between the global haves and have-nots.
“But as our human family grows larger, it is also growing more divided”, warned Secretary-General António Guterres in an editorial penned ahead of the milestone moment, citing billions struggling, hundreds of millions facing hunger, and record numbers fleeing home for relief from debt, hardship, wars and climate disasters.
“Unless we bridge the yawning chasm between the global haves and have-nots, we are setting ourselves up for an 8-billion-strong world filled with tensions and mistrust, crisis and conflict”.