Get ready: the world’s population is set to cross the 8 billion mark. The latest UN report recently predicted that this milestone would be reached on approximately November 15, but these things are incredibly difficult to pinpoint with 100 percent accuracy.
Given current projections and a certain margin of error, it looks like we’re fast approaching the 8 billion people mark and could reach it “any day now,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
“This year’s World Population Day falls during a milestone year, when we anticipate the birth of the Earth’s eight billionth inhabitant. 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,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a recent statement.
“At the same time, it is 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,” he added.
The UN projections go on to suggest that the global population could grow to around 8.5 billion in 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050, and 10.4 billion in 2100. As part of this monumental shift, China will be overtaken by India as the planet’s most populous country by 2023.
Meanwhile, there will be a huge population spurt in developing countries. As per the UN, over half of the projected population increase up to 2050 will be concentrated in just eight countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, and the United Republic of Tanzania.
Other projections, however, have foreseen a slightly different future. In 2020, a huge study published in The Lancet suggested that the global population will grow over the next few decades and peak in 2064 at around 9.7 billion people, before falling to 8.8 billion by 2100. If this becomes true, it would be the first time the global population has declined since the mid-14th century during the Black Death.
Under both of these scenarios, huge population growth will occur in sub-Saharan Africa and a slower rise will be seen across the Arab world. With this global demographic movement, we can expect to see a giant tidal shift toward a multi-polar world where many, not just one, superpowers rule of the roost.
The rest of this future, as ever, is yet to be written.