This month the world will cross over the 7 billion mark – more than 7 billion people alive at one time on the planet by estimates. That is an amazing number – when I was born 3.5 billion was a long way off, and even when I graduated high school we were nowhere near 5 billion. Yet in spite of dwindling fertility, global population growth continues unchecked.
In ‘celebration’ of the milestone, SmartPlanet has put together a list of seven things to note about this population milestone:
- It took humans until 1800 for the world’s population to reach 1 billion. Now it only takes about 13 years to add another billion people — and every year, even though fertility is declining, our population increases by about 80 million people.
- 215 million women would like to avoid or delay childbearing, but have no access to contraceptives. A thousand women die giving birth every day.
- Worldwide, women are having about half as many children as they did 50 years ago. Since 1950, the average size of a family declined from 6.0 to 2.5 people.
- In 1950, 1 in 5 children died before the age of 5. Today, 93 percent survive.
- By 2025, India is expected to have more people than China. About 3 billion people alone live in the emerging economies of China, India, Brazil and Indonesia.
- Young people make up 43 percent of the world’s population; in developed countries, they represent 60 percent of the population.
- The rate of growth of people age 60 or older is growing at twice the rate of the rest of the world’s population. By 2040, nearly 1 in 4 people will be over age 60.
This article points to the site 7 Billion Actions, which is an interactive site that invites people to explore and understand the impact and implications of having a population so large on our planet:
A world of 7 billion people poses many challenges – and countless opportunities to make a positive difference. 7 Billion Actions, established by the United Nations Population Fund, inspires change that will make a difference by highlighting positive action by individuals and organizations around the world. Learn more.
What are your thoughts on the global population explosion?
Read more at SmartPlanet