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World Population to Hit 8 Billion in November, and China Won’t be Biggest

world population
The global population is expected to reach eight billion people by mid-November, and India will be the most populated country. Credit: Wikimedia Commons Michael T Balonek

On November 15th, the world’s population will reach 8 billion, and by next year, India will surpass China as the most populous country.

The United Nations released those new findings on Monday for World Population Day, as part of its World Population Prospects 2022 report. World Population Day is observed annually on July 11th, marking the date in 1987 when the world’s population hit the five billion mark.

The report pegs today’s global population at 7.942 billion, projecting it will top the 8 billion mark in just four months.

The world’s population is projected to jump to 8.5 billion by 2030, according to the U.N., and 9.7 billion twenty years later. By the 2080s, it could balloon to 10.4 billion people, where it would remain until 2100.

Despite the surging numbers, the world’s population growth actually dropped by one percent in 2020, the first time that has happened since 1950, according to the U.N. That same year, the world population was estimated to be at around 2.6 billion people.

In Greece, the population decreased by 39,933 in 2021, as the number of deaths from all causes was much higher than the number of births. That was according to a late December announcement by the Hellenic Statistical Authority. The data estimated the exact population in Greece as of January 1, 2021 to be at 10,678,632. According to estimates leading up to last year’s census, the Greek population in Greece was expected to be 500,000 fewer compared to the 2011 count.

World Population Increase Focuses on Eight Countries

According to the World Population Prospects report, more than half of the estimated rise in population in the next thirty years will be mainly focused on eight countries: Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Tanzania.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the eight billion mark projection was “an occasion to celebrate our diversity, recognize our common humanity, and marvel at advancements in health that have extended lifespans and dramatically reduced maternal and child mortality rates.”

However, he added that it is “a reminder of our shared responsibility to care for our planet and a moment to reflect on where we still fall short of our commitments to one another.”

India, now the second most populous nation with 1.412 billion people, will surpass the Chinese population, which now has 1.426 billion, according to projections.

The report notes that the United States will remain the third most populous country by 2050, followed by Nigeria and Pakistan. Indonesia will be sixth followed by Brazil, Congo, Ethiopia, and Bangladesh.

Russia and Mexico are expected to fall out of the top ten by 2050. In total, 61 countries will see their populations drop by one percent or more between this year and 2050, the report said.

With the continued rise in population, life expectancy has also improved by nearly nine years since 1990. Life expectancy was estimated to be about 72.8 years for babies born in 2019 while babies born in 2050 are expected to live for 77.2.

But the COVID-19 pandemic affected population change with global life expectancy at birth falling to 71.0 years in 2021.

On another down note, last year, life expectancy in the poorest countries was seven years behind the global average.

Men still outnumber women—50.3 percent to 49.7 percent—but that will likely balance out in the next thirty years, the report found.

The proportion of working age people between 25 and 64 has been on the rise in most countries of sub-Saharan Africa, along with parts of Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean because of “recent reductions in fertility,” the report noted. It is said that that provides for opportunity for further economic growth in those regions.

“Further actions by governments aimed at reducing fertility would have little impact on the pace of population growth between now and mid-century, because of the youthful age structure of today’s global population,” said John Wilmoth, director of the population division of the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs. “Nevertheless, the cumulative effect of lower fertility, if maintained over several decades, could be a more substantial deceleration of global population growth in the second half of the century.”

Population aging is on the rise in European nations along with Japan, North America, Australia, and New Zealand. This is due to high life expectancy and low levels of fertility and birth rates. The trend could lead to population declines.

The report noted that international migration “will be the sole driver of population growth in high-income countries” in the coming decades.

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