The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs says the global population has reached an estimated 8 billion.
The UN said this in its latest World Population Prospects 2022, released on Tuesday to mark World Population Day.
According to the report, more than half of the projected population is concentrated in just eight countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and the United Republic of Tanzania.
The global population is growing at its slowest rate since 1950, having fallen under 1 per cent in 2020. The latest projections by the United Nations suggest that the world’s population could grow to around 8.5 billion in 2030 and 9.7 billion in 2050. It is projected to reach a peak of around 10.4 billion people during the 2080s and to remain at that level until 2100.
The report also states that fertility has fallen markedly in recent decades for many countries.
“Today, two-thirds of the global population lives in a country or area where lifetime fertility is below 2.1 births per woman, roughly the level required for zero growth in the long run for a population with low mortality. The populations of 61 countries or areas are projected to decrease by one per cent or more between 2022 and 2050, owing to sustained low levels of fertility and, in some cases, elevated rates of emigration,” the report reads.
“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.”
António Guterres, UN secretary-general, said, “This year’s World Population Day falls during a milestone year when we anticipate the birth of the earth’s eight billionth inhabitant. This is an occasion to celebrate our diversity, recognise our common humanity, and marvel at advancements in health that have extended lifespans and dramatically reduced maternal and child mortality rates.