Eight billionth person to be born today
Can the planet cope? The global population is set to reach eight billion today. It
is a major milestone in the history of the world
For the first 300,000 years or so of human history, there were actually hardly any people at all.
Most of the time, less than one million people were living on the planet. At times, we were in serious danger of dying out completely.
By 12,000 years ago, the world’s population was 4 million — half of the current population of London. By 1800, it had steadily grown to one billion.
Then, something extraordinary happened. The population exploded. By 1900, it was 1.65bn. By 1975, it was 4bn. By the millennium, it was 6bn. And at some point today, on 15 November 2022, experts predict the eight billionth human will be born. Nobody knows exactly where, or exactly when. But it will happen.
Some are worried. The Earth is facing a climate crisis. Much of it is caused by humans, and now there are more humans than ever before.
But others say it is not the number of humans that is a problem, but how we are living. If everyone lived the way Americans do, we would need 5.1 Earths to cope with the demands on nature.
Most of the population growth is not happening in the USA. It is happening in the world’s poorest countries, where most people use fewer resources to live and have smaller carbon footprints.
And there is one other thing to consider: by 2100, experts think the world’s population could be shrinking.