The global population is projected to reach eight billion on November 15 this year, based on the latest projection by the United Nations (UN).
The UN said the world’s population could grow to around 8.5 billion in 2030 and 9.7 billion in 2050.
Around 10.4 billion people are expected in the 2080s, and will remain at that level until 2100, it added.
“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, recognize our common humanity, and marvel at advancements in health that have extended lifespans and dramatically reduced maternal and child mortality rates,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
“At the same time, 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,” he added.
According to the World Population Prospects 2022, India is expected to surpass China as the world’s most populous country in 2023.
“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 report said.
More than half of the projected growth of the global population in 2050 will concentrate in eight countries, including the Philippines.
Other countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, and the United Republic of Tanzania.
Meanwhile, the countries of sub-Saharan Africa are expected to contribute more than half of the said increase.
“The relationship between population growth and sustainable development is complex and multidimensional” said Liu Zhenmin, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs.
“Rapid population growth makes eradicating poverty, combatting hunger and malnutrition, and increasing the coverage of health and education systems more difficult. Conversely, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, especially those related to health, education and gender equality, will contribute to reducing fertility levels and slowing global population growth.”
The share of global population at ages 65 and above is also projected to rise from 10 percent in 2022 to 16 percent in 2050 due to recent reductions in fertility.
“This shift in the age distribution provides a time-bound opportunity for accelerated economic growth per capita, known as the “demographic dividend,” the report said.
“To maximize the potential benefits of a favourable age distribution, countries should invest in the further development of their human capital by ensuring access to health care and quality education at all ages and by promoting opportunities for productive employment and decent work,” it added.
The UN also said the Covid-19 pandemic was also one of the factors that affected population change.
“In some countries, successive waves of the pandemic may have produced short-term reductions in numbers of pregnancies and births, while for many other countries, there is little evidence of an impact on fertility levels or trends,” it said.
It added that the “pandemic severely restricted all forms of human mobility, including international migration.”
Global life expectancy at birth reached 72.8 years in 2019, an improvement of almost nine years since 1990.
However, in 2021, life expectancy for the least developed countries lagged seven years behind the global average.
Global life expectancy at birth fell to 71.0 years in 2021.
The UN, meanwhile, urged countries with aging populations to establish universal health care and long-term care systems and improve the sustainability of social security and pension systems.
“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 United Nations 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.”