The world’s population is now eight billion, according to a projection by the United Nations (UN).
In a press statement, UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, said the milestone was an occasion to celebrate diversity and advancements while considering humanity’s shared responsibility for the planet.
The UN attributed the growth to human development, with people living longer thanks to improvements in public health, nutrition, personal hygiene and medicine.
“It is also the result of higher fertility rates, particularly in the world’s poorest countries — most of which are in sub-Saharan Africa — putting their development goals at risk,” Guterres stated.
Speaking on the assumption that the world is over populated, United Nations Population Fund (UNPF) chief, Natalia Kanem, said, “Some express concerns that our world is overpopulated. I am here to say clearly that the sheer number of human lives is not a cause for fear.”
The current population is more than three times higher than the 2.5 billion global headcount in 1950.
Annual growth has fallen from a high of 2.1 percent between 1962 and 1965 to below 1 per cent in 2020.
That could potentially fall further to around 0.5 per cent by 2050 due to a continued decline in fertility rates, the United Nations projects.
The UN projects the population to continue growing to about 8.5 billion in 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050, and peaking around 10.4 billion in the 2080s.