MUMBAI, India – Today, somewhere in the world, the first cries of a newborn baby will signify a milestone for humanity: The arrival of world’s 8 billionth resident.
The United Nations is celebrating today (Nov. 15) as the “Day of 8 Billion” – the date the world’s population is projected to reach 8 billion people.
There’s no way to know exactly which baby puts the population over this mark. But she or he will likely be born in the Global South. The U.N. says much of the population growth expected between now and 2050 is coming from just eight countries – and half of them are in sub-Saharan Africa.
Other countries in this group of eight are in Asia. India, with nearly 1.4 billion people, is forecast next year to overtake China as the world’s most populous country, according to the U.N. But its population growth is actually slowing, due to declining birthrates linked to massive migration to urban areas.
The U.N. says today’s milestone is a celebration of human longevity due to improvements in public health and medicine. But it also comes with warnings about economic inequality and sustainability: Demographers say countries with the highest fertility tend to have the lowest income per capita. And slower population growth could help mitigate environmental damage. Readmore