‘Milestone in human development’: World population expected to hit 8 billion on Nov. 15, U.N. says

(NEXSTAR) – A date circled on the calendar since July has finally arrived: the day the world’s population is expected to reach 8 billion.

The United Nations released a report in mid-July that predicted November 15 would be “Eight Billion Day,” marking a “significant milestone in human development.”

According to the UN, which will host events in honor of Eight Billion Day on Tuesday, it took the world 12 years to grow its population from 7 billion to 8 billion. They estimated that the world will not reach 9 billion people for another 15 years, “a sign that the overall growth rate of the world’s population is slowing”.

Improvements in public health, nutrition, personal hygiene and medicine – as well as “high and persistent levels of fertility in some countries” – are credited with allowing the world’s population to grow at a such a monumental level.

World population growth is largely concentrated in the poorest countries, according to the UN – around 70% of births have taken place in low-income and lower-middle-income countries. By 2037, these countries are expected to account for more than 90% of growth.

“This is a time to celebrate our diversity, recognize our common humanity, and marvel at the advances in health that have extended lifespans and dramatically reduced maternal and child mortality rates,” the secretary said. UN General Antonio Guterres in a July statement. “At the same time, it’s 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 each other.”

The growing world population, however, has contributed to environmental degradation, such as climate change and global warming, as well as other inequalities. António Guterres wrote in a USA Today op-ed last week: “Unless we close the gaping chasm between the world’s haves and have-nots, we are preparing for a world of 8 billion people filled with tension and distrust. , crisis, and conflict.

“I have never bet against human ingenuity and I have tremendous faith in human solidarity,” he added.

In the same July report, the UN predicted that India would overtake China as the most populous nation in 2023. The United States is expected to remain third until 2050.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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