The United Nations' World Population Prospects (WPP) report released Monday foresees the world's population will reach 8 billion people by November of 2022 and that India will surpass China as the country with the largest number of inhabitants.
This is an occasion to celebrate our diversity, recognize our common humanity and marvel at the advances in health that have lengthened lives and dramatically reduced maternal and infant mortality rates, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a statement.
The UN expects the 8 billionth inhabitant to be born Nov. 15, the WPP document also pointed out. It also stressed the global population was growing at its slowest pace since 1950.
In addition to that, population growth between now and 2050 is expected to happen in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Tanzania. At the current rate, the UN estimates that the world will have about 8.5 billion inhabitants by 2030 and about 9.7 billion by 2050. The organization expects the world population to reach about 10.4 billion during the 2080s and to remain at that level until at least 2100.
The report also noted that the fertility rate has dropped notoriously in recent decades, with two-thirds of the global population living in areas where an average birthrate of 2.1 births per pregnant person, barely enough to keep the number of inhabitants stable in places with low mortality. Between 2022 and 2050, the population of 61 countries or areas is expected to shrink by at least 1% due to low birth rates, coupled with high emigration.
Starting in 2023, India will be the world's most populous country, finally surpassing China. Both countries have over 1.4 billion inhabitants each and are largely the biggest in demographic terms. They are also members of the BRICS bloc, alongside Brazil, Russia, and South Africa.
The United States is the world's third most populous country, with some 337 million inhabitants, followed by Indonesia (275 million), Pakistan (234 million), and Nigeria (216 million).
According to the WPP, global life expectancy fell in 2021 to 71 years, having reached 72.8 years in 2019, an improvement of almost 9 years since 1990. The COVID-19 pandemic is believed to have played a part in this outcome. And still, certain government officials in South American countries insist on upping the retirement age.
The date chosen for the publication of the report (Monday, July 11) is World Population Day. In his message commemorating the occasion, Guterres stressed the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, wars, and humanitarian disasters proved that the world is “in peril” and still plagued with gender inequality and assaults on women’s rights. In certain parts of the world, the lives, dignity, freedom, and well-being of women and girls remain under permanent threat, the report underlined.
The COVID-19 pandemic is said to have caused nearly six million deaths worldwide, while armed conflicts, violence, and persecution have caused the forced displacement of 100 million people.
Let's focus on every person. On ensuring that our world can meet our needs and those of future generations. About protecting Human Rights and the ability of all people to make informed decisions about whether and when to have children. About leaving no one behind, Guterres said on Twitter.
Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), pointed out that a resilient world of 8 billion people, which defends individual rights and choices, offers infinite possibilities to thrive.
With the global population projected to peak at about 10.4 billion in 2080 and remain at that level until 2100, half of that demographic expansion, stems from Asia, while Africa is slated to make the second-largest contribution, which, combined, will boost the world's population to 9 billion people by 2037.