A report from the United Nations (U.N.) published last week seems to confirm what we all knew was coming; Earth’s population has hit eight billion people. The report believes the eight billionth person was born on 11/15, and officially marks a high point in global population to date.
According to the U.N. report, India will also overtake China as the world’s most populated country sometime in 2023.
We blogged about this impending event back in October, and mentioned a report which stated that global human population has risen 300% since 1950, way up from 2.5 billion people.
The report echoed what we mentioned in our October blog, that the global population will continue to rise until the 2080’s when it hits 10.4 billion people.
The U.N. report revealed that the bulk of the population increase is in just a handful of countries.
“More than half of the projected increase in the global population up to 2050 will be concentrated in eight countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and the United Republic of Tanzania. Countries of sub-Saharan Africa are expected to contribute more than half of the increase anticipated through 2050.”
The report also noted how the Coronavirus has affected global population growth.
“Global life expectancy at birth fell to 71.0 years in 2021. In some countries, successive waves of the pandemic may have produced short-term reductions in numbers of pregnancies and births, while for many other countries, there is little evidence of an impact on fertility levels or trends. The pandemic severely restricted all forms of human mobility, including international migration.”
In a comment on the U.N. report to NPR, Jack Goldstone, a professor at George Mason University, stated this would have a global impact.
“I think what’s important about 8 billion is that were going to be connected, and so we have to get used to the idea that what happens in other places will directly affect our quality of life here[.]”
Goldstone stated he believed the planet could sustain this level of population growth if we acted accordingly.
“Goldstone says that despite finite resources and climate change, the world could still manage with a population of 9 or even 10 billion as long as it’s paying attention to ‘what people are doing, how they live and which specific areas or groups are growing the fastest.’”
We tend to think Professor Goldstone is underselling the kind of world we’re headed into. It’s one where there’s a scarcity of natural resources, where there’s a fierce competition for everything, and where our environment is pushed to the max.
It’s not a sustainable way to live and it’s entirely avoidable. One need only look at California to see the negative effects overpopulation has on your quality of life.
We can only hope that as we hit this eight billion person threshold, that global population becomes a more prominent issue that our leaders take seriously. If not, we’re all going to be living with the repercussions to our lives and the environment around us.