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Global population to attain 8 billion

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By Mercy Kelani

By November 15, the world’s population will be 8 billion, imperiling the world.

According to the “World Population Prospects 2022,” the United Nations (UN) reported that the world’s population is currently at 7.942 billion. With the present record, it has been predicted that by mid-November, (Nov 15) the world’s population will reach 8 billion. The report was released on the July 11th, 2022, to mark the 2022 World Population Day, with the theme ‘A world of 8 billion: Towards a resilient future for all – Harnessing opportunities and ensuring rights and choices for all.’ This year’s report projected that by 2030, the world’s population would have grown further to about 8.5 billion and 9.7 billion in 2050.

Furthermore, the report foresees that the population would likely attain a peak of about 10.4 billion people in the 2080s. At this point, the United Nations believes that the world’s population will become stagnant until around 2100. The growth of the population of the world, according to the report, is partly as a result of declining levels of mortality due to improvement in health. The UN further estimates that more reductions in mortality are expected to produce an average lifespan of 77 years by 2050.

A rapid growing population is not helpful to the globe.

It was also reported that by 2023, China would stop being the most populous country in the world, with India taking over its position. This, in part, is as a result of the aging population of China and its history of restricting births. In 2011, according to the domestic census that is usually conducted once in a decade, the population of India was 1.21 billion. However, there is no current record of its population due to the postponement of the 2021 census by the government, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report forecasted that more than half of the population increase expected through 2050 would likely be contributed by eight countries of sub-Saharan Africa. They include the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, and the United Republic of Tanzania. Although the population of the globe has been growing at its slowest pace since 1950 and fallen below one percent in 2020, Liu Zhenmin, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, cautioned that a fast-growing population creates more difficulty in the eradication of poverty, reduction of hunger and malnutrition, and improvement in the coverage of health and Education systems.

Lower fertility will slow down the world’s population growth.

Whereas after the global population exceeded seven billion 11 years ago and would be eight billion very soon, the UN stressed the fact that in 61 countries, population is anticipated to decrease with at least one percent in the next three decades. The report discovered that two-thirds of the world’s population reside in a country where lifetime fertility is lower than 2.1 births per woman; the exact level needed for zero population growth for a population having a low mortality rate.

Director of the Population Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), John Wilmoth, alerts that the overall effect of lower fertility, if properly maintained for many decades, could be a monumental retardation of the world’s population growth during the second half of the century. Recent decreases in fertility have brought about a demographic dividend in many countries of sub-Saharan Africa, some parts of Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. This has led to a rise in the division of the working age population (25 to 64 years), with the provision of an opportunity for the acceleration of growth per capita.

The UN SDGs will contribute to the reduction of fertility levels.

The report further emphasized that in order to make good use of the opportunity that is embedded in slow global population growth, countries should invest more in the development of their human capital, ensuring access to health care and quality education at all ages, and improving promotion of opportunities to enable productive employment and decent work. It also affirms that the UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly those in relation to health, education, and gender equality, will assist in the reduction of fertility levels and decelerating the world’s population growth.


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