There are now 8 billion people alive on Earth according to demographers with the United Nations who chose November 15, 2022, to mark the milestone for the global human population. Making for a memorable World Population Day, it recognizes the birth of Earth’s 8 billionth inhabitant, or human inhabitant no. 8,000,000,000.
The BBC put the stat into perspective in a release stating that were you to show the face of every person alive on Earth today for one second, it would take 253 years to exhibit all 8 billion of us.
The milestone also represents a time at which China is set to be toppled as the most populous country in the world as estimates indicate that India will overtake it in 2023.
The rate of growth for the global population is actually the slowest it’s been since 1950. As such, the UN estimates it will continue to creep up until reaching a peak of around 10.4 billion by 2090, but after this, it will likely see a plateau.
This coincides with the news that fertility has dropped below the threshold to sustain population levels in some regions with low mortality. The human populations of 61 countries and areas that fall into this category are actually expected to see a decrease between now and 2050.
While the connection between fertility rates and population growth is clear, there is a rich tapestry of interconnected factors at play, many of which were recently discussed at COP27.
“The relationship between population growth and sustainable development is complex and multidimensional” said Liu Zhenmin, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs in a statement. “Rapid population growth makes eradicating poverty, combatting hunger and malnutrition, and increasing the coverage of health and education systems more difficult.”
“Conversely, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, especially those related to health, education and gender equality, will contribute to reducing fertility levels and slowing global population growth.”