World population to reach a milestone 8 billion on Nov 15, India to overtake China next year


The global population is projected to reach 8 billion on this November 15, and India is projected to surpass China as the world’s most populous country in 2023, according to World Population Prospects 2022.


“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.


Bangladesh shares 2.2 percent of the global population, the eighth largest (population-wise) and one of the most densely populated countries in the world, with 171 million of population, according to the World Population Prospects 2022.


However, according to the projected estimate by the UN, Bangladesh will be the 10th most populous country with 204 million people by 2050.


Today, 171 million people in the country means 171 million opportunities for a healthier Bangladesh, empowered by rights and choices, said Dr Mohammad Mainul Islam, a professor and former chairman of the Department of Population Sciences at Dhaka University, in his recent article.


The global population is growing at its slowest rate since 1950, having fallen under 1 percent in 2020, according to the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs.


The latest projections by the United Nations suggest that the world’s population could grow to around 8.5 billion in 2030 and 9.7 billion in 2050. It is projected to reach a peak of around 10.4 billion people during the 2080s and to remain at that level until 2100.


World Population Prospects 2022 also states that fertility has fallen markedly in recent decades for many countries.


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 populations of 61 countries or areas are projected to decrease by 1 per cent or more between 2022 and 2050, owing to sustained low levels of fertility and, in some cases, elevated rates of emigration.


More than half of the projected increase in the global population up to 2050 will be concentrated in eight countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and the United Republic of Tanzania.


Countries of sub-Saharan Africa are expected to contribute more than half of the increase anticipated through 2050.


“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.


The share of global population at ages 65 and above is projected to rise from 10 percent in 2022 to 16 per cent in 2050.


At that point, it is expected that the number of persons aged 65 years or over worldwide will be more than twice the number of children under age 5 and about the same as the number under age 12.


Global life expectancy at birth reached 72.8 years in 2019, an improvement of almost 9 years since 1990. Further reductions in mortality are projected to result in an average global longevity of around 77.2 years in 2050.


Yet in 2021, life expectancy for the least developed countries lagged 7 years behind the global average.


The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all three components of population change. Global life expectancy at birth fell to 71.0 years in 2021.


“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. 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,” added John Wilmoth, Director of the Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.


Source: United News of Bangladesh