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Day of 8 billion: How the global population has doubled in 50 years and now what?

Day of 8 billion: How the global population has doubled in 50 years and now what?

Day of 8 billion: How the global population has doubled in 50 years and now what?
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By CNBCTV18.com Nov 15, 2022 11:55:22 AM IST (Updated)

On November 15, the world’s population will reach eight billion. In 1950, the population stood at 2.5 billion.

Reaching a major milestone in human development, the world’s population has reached eight billion on November 15. The world population surpassed this mark only after 11 years of passing the seven-billion milestone. This was revealed in the World Population Prospects Report 2022 that released on July 11.

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With the pace of growth slowing, the global population is set to reach 8.5 billion in 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050 and 10.4 billion in 2100, the United Nations has said. The report said India is likely to surpass China as the world’s most populous country in 2023.


Previously, the UN has selected babies to represent the five, sixth and seven-billionth children previously. On July 11, 1987, Matej Gaspar was designated as the world's five billionth baby. In 2011, Bangladesh's Sultana Oishee was named one of the world's seven-billionth babies. It remains to be seen who the world's eight-billionth baby will be.

On the 'day of 8 billion,' here’s a look at some of the key trends and factors driving population growth since 1950: 

In the last five decades, the global population has doubled from four billion to eight billion. In 1950, the global population stood at 2.5 billion. The world has added one billion people since 2010 and two billion since 1998, the report said.

Since 1950, it took around 37 years for the global population to double, reaching five billion in 1987. It is estimated that more than 70 years will be needed for the global population to double again to more than 10 billion by 2059.

The growth in population is partly caused by declining levels of mortality and increased levels of life expectancy at birth.

The annual growth rate of the world population was the fastest between 1962 and 1965, over the 100-year period between 1950 and 2050, reaching an average of 2.1 percent per year. Since then, the population growth rate slowed by more than half due to lower levels of fertility.

Around the world, life expectancy reached 72.8 years in 2019, which is an increase of almost nine years since 1990. Average longevity is set to increase to around 77.2 years globally in 2050 due to further reduction in mortality.

The average fertility of the world’s population has come down from about five births per woman in 1950 to 2.3 births per woman over a lifetime in 2021. This is further expected to go down to 2.1 births per woman by 2050.

From 2022 to 2050, more than half of the projected increase in the global population will be concentrated in eight countries – India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Egypt, Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and the United Republic of Tanzania.

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