World Population To Hit 8 Billion; Is It Catastrophe?

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A new report released by United Nations “World Population Prospects 2022” states that the world’s population is projected to reach 8 billion on 15 November 2022. The global population could grow to 9.7 billion in 2050 and 10.4 billion in 2100. The same projection also reveals that China and India are the first and the second most populous countries, each having 1.4 billion people. A major milestone as many parts of the world face plummeting growth rates and world leaders still struggle with global issues like food security, climate change, aging demographics, and environmental destruction.

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Deputy Director at United Nations Dev’t Coordination Office, Rosemary Kalapurakal tweeted, “World Population Day 15 Nov marks a historic milestone, as the world population reaches 8 billion. Is this good or bad news?”.

For decades, China has been the country to have the largest population in the world, but that’s predicted to change. The one-child policy adopted under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping in the 1970s has slowed the population growth and India is due to overtake China, to become the world’s most populous nation in 2023.

The projections from the report show that the world will have 9 billion inhabitants in 2037 and 10 billion by 2057. Scientists around the globe have conducted many studies to know the earth’s carrying capacity i.e. the maximum population size that earth can sustain. According to Joel E. Cohen, head of the Laboratory of Populations at Rockefeller University and Columbia University, Earth could support 13.4 billion people.

The milestone has come 11 years after the human population reached 7 billion people. This is not a catastrophe, but a positive sign. Data suggests increased levels of life expectancy at birth. Globally it has reached 72.8 years in 2019, an increase of almost 9 years since 1990. Therefore, population growth is caused in part by declining levels of mortality. It would be a catastrophe if governments are not prepared for what’s coming in the next decade. UN believes two-thirds of the projected increase in global population through 2050 will be driven by the momentum of past growth, actions taken by national governments to reduce fertility would only do little to slow the pace of population growth.