World population peaks at 8 billion

Population Booms!//Growing numbers of people in countries such as India and China aid in making the global population reach 8 billion people. Most scientists hypothesize the earth can only support up to 10 billion people, making many worry about the possible consequences to come. (Photo by Talia Medina)

by Tainá Queiroz Fonseca

On November 15th, 2022, the world reached a population of eight billion people. However, the growth of the population has actually dropped by one percent since 2020.

Needless to say, more people means more concern for things such as habitat, food, and our effect on the environment. This leads to more problems regarding the well-being of more people in these less developed nations and their already struggling systems.

Since reaching a population of eight billion, half of the world’s population is now concentrated in these four countries: China, India, the United States, and Indonesia. The rapid population growth was mainly caused by the world’s least wealthy countries such as Niger, Angola, and the Democratic Republic of Congo because of the low availability of contraceptives, and the need for child laborers.

In less developed countries, children are needed to have a more robust labor force. While the labor force is a major cause of their higher birth rates. Lack of access to contraceptives and little to no education for females have increased fertility rates in these countries.

It is notable that the United Nations predicts that we will reach 9.7 billion people in 2050, and about 10.4 billion people in the 2080’s. However, the University of Washington challenges the UN’s population predictions with its own predictions. After producing a reference scenario, they forecasted a peak of 9.73 billion people in 2064 and a decline to 8.79 billion in 2100

The rising population will continue to be a concern for generations to come. The Millennium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere proposes ways to level the population. These ideas include putting more funding into family planning programs, improving healthcare to reduce infant mortality, restricting child marriage, and making contraception legal, especially in underdeveloped nations. One can only hope the world will figure out a solution before it’s too late, and hopefully, that solution will not be the Hunger Games.