World population hits eight billion – UN

There are now eight billion people on the planet, and this is a threat to places already struggling with resource constraints brought on by climate change. This was made known in a statement released on Tuesday by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

Reaching eight billion people is “a sign of human success, but it’s also a great risk for our future,” John Wilmoth, the director of the UN’s population division told Al Jazeera on Tuesday.

The UN said the figure meant 1 billion people had been added to the global population in just 12 years.

Middle-income countries, mainly in Asia, accounted for most of that growth, gaining some 700 million people since 2011.
India added about 180 million people and is set to surpass China as the world’s most populous nation next year.

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“This unprecedented growth is due to the gradual increase in human lifespan owing to improvements in public health, nutrition, personal hygiene and medicine. It is also the result of high and persistent levels of fertility in some countries,” the UN statement read.
Some of the world’s poorest countries, most of which are in sub-Saharan Africa, witnessed spikes in population as a result of higher fertility rates, putting their development goals at risk.

“The milestone is an occasion to celebrate diversity and advancements while considering humanity’s shared responsibility for the planet,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in the statement.

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