The global population has now reached 8 billion people.
CNN reports that the world grew by 1 billion people in 12 years. “This unprecedented growth is due to the gradual increase in human lifespan owing to improvements in public health, nutrition, personal hygiene, and medicine. It is also the result of high and persistent levels of fertility in some countries,” a United Nations statement read, adding that this moment represents a “milestone in human development.”
CNN Philippines tweeted that newborn girl Vinice Mabansag, born in Manila, was counted as the 8 billionth resident of Earth.
Asian countries saw the most growth, with an increase of around 700 million people since 2011. India is also set to have the biggest population, ballooning by around 180 million people, eclipsing China as the most populous country in the world.
Following the 8 billion mark, birth rates will start to slow down. Even now, the growth rate has dropped to less than 1 percent annually. The next billion isn’t projected to be reached until 2037, and beyond that, the world is predicted to grow to 10.4 billion people in the 2080s. A majority of that growth will come from sub-Saharan Africa, with the global population hovering at that number till 2100.
According to UN Secretary-General António Guterres, arriving at 8 billion people “is an occasion to celebrate diversity and advancements while considering humanity’s shared responsibility for the planet.”
While that’s the positive side to our world population growth, the negative side is that more people means more competition for resources like water, food, and space. Experts say growth can also have an impact on climate change, leading to migration and conflict in the years to come.