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World Population Reaches 8 Billion People

(Photo by Anindito Mukherjee/Getty Images)

James Lynch Contributor
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The world population hit a new record on Tuesday by reaching 8 billion.

Estimates by the United Nations project the global population to hit 8 billion people today, Forbes reported. It comes 11 years after the world hit 7 billion people, with the population growth rate dropping to its lowest since 1950. Projections by the UN have the world population growing to 8.5 billion by 2030 and 9.7 billion by 2050. A peak of 10.4 billion people is projected during the 2080s and the global population is expected to stay at roughly the same total until the end of the century.

The record comes as many nations across the developed world grapple with sustained drops in fertility over the past few decades. Two thirds of the global population live in a country with a lifetime fertility rate at replacement level or lower, according to the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Sustained low fertility and high levels of emigration could contribute to one percent population drops in 61 different countries. (RELATED: Russian Missile Kills Two In NATO Country: REPORT)

Continued decreases in global fertility rates have the potential to further reduce the global population growth rate, according to John Wilmoth, Director of the Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

More than half of the increase in global population 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. After 2050, population growth will likely be concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the UN. By 2023, India is expected to surpass China as the world’s most populous country.

A major trend in global population numbers is aging, with the number of people aged 65 and over expected to grow from 10% in 2022 to 16% by 2050. At this level, the population aged 65 or older would be more than twice the number of children under five and about the same as children under 12 years old, according to the UN.

One reason for older populations is higher life expectancy, which reached 72.8 in 2019 before dropping to 71.0 years in 2021. The drop in life expectancy can be linked to the Covid-19 pandemic and associated restrictions on personal mobility, the UN states. Overall life expectancy has increased almost nine years since 1990 and is projected to reach 77.2 years by 2050.