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World population reaches eight billion, India to overtake China to become most populated country

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(NEW YORK) — The world’s population reached eight billion people on Tuesday, according to a report by the United Nations’ population division.

“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,” U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said in a news release. “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.”

According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, India will surpass China as the world’s most populous country next year.

The global population has been growing at its slowest rate since the 1950s, falling under 1% in 2020.

The latest projections by the U.N. show the global population may reach 8.5 billion in 2030 and 9.7 billion in 2050. It is projected to peak at around 10.4 billion during the 2080s and remain at that level until 2100.

According to the U.N., it took 12 years for the global population to go from seven billion to eight billion.

In recent decades, fertility has dipped in many countries. Around two-thirds of the world’s population lives in a country or area where lifetime fertility is under 2.1 births per woman, which is the level needed for no growth in the long term for a population with low mortality, according to the U.N.

Over half of the projected global population growth up to 2050 will happen in eight countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and the United Republic of Tanzania.

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