World population to hit 8bn; India will surpass China soon
On November 15, the world population will hit the eight billion mark, three times more than the numbers recorded in 1950. According to a report by the UN Population Division, India would rank as the world's most populous country in 2023. Meanwhile, as per estimates, by 2030 the global population would balloon to 8.5 billion. Here are a few highlights from the report.
What effect did the COVID-19 pandemic have?
The COVID-19 pandemic caused a decline in global life expectancy from 72.8 in 2019 to 71.0 years in 2021. In some countries such as Lebanon, Mexico, and Oman, the estimated life expectancy at birth fell by more than four years between 2019 and 2021. Overall, the pandemic affected all facets of population change, including fertility, mortality, and migration.
Global life expectancy to hit 77.2 years in 2050
As of 2019, the global life expectancy for women was 73.8 years, 5.4 years more than that of men. The life expectancy in the least developed countries lagged seven years behind the global average in 2021. This was because of high levels of child and maternal mortality. The global life expectancy is estimated to hit 77.2 years in the year 2050.
Annual growth rate falls when fertility rates drop
The annual growth rate and fertility rates are directly linked. As of 2021, the average fertility rate globally was 2.3 births per woman during her lifetime. The numbers have halved from 1950 when there were 5 births recorded per woman. By 2050, the global fertility rate is predicted to decline further and would come down to 2.1 births per woman.
The population of individuals above 65 years will increase
The decline in mortality rates has a significant contribution to the population explosion. There will be a rise in the population of individuals in the age group of 65 years or above, from 10% in 2022 to 16% in 2050. By 2050, the number of people in the aforementioned age group will be equal to the number of children under the age of 12.
Can our planet support the growing population?
Experts suggest that we should turn our attention to the overconsumption of resources by the affluent instead of dwelling on overpopulation. United Nations Population Fund chief Natalia Kanem said the eight billion mark is "a milestone for humanity." "Too many for whom, too many for what? If you ask me, am I too many? I don't think so," said John Cohen, a researcher.