For the first time there are 8 billion people on Earth, according to the U.N. : NPR


A field in Germany’s Utting am Ammersee has been planted to display a dove of peace, based on an artwork by Pablo Picasso, and a world map.

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A field in Germany’s Utting am Ammersee has been planted to display a dove of peace, based on an artwork by Pablo Picasso, and a world map.

Christof Stache/AFP via Getty Images

People all over the world are living longer and having fewer children. These are just some of the trends described by the United Nations in a report on world population.

While average life expectancy is expected to increase from 72.98 in 2019 to 77.2 in 2050, the rate of growth worldwide will continue to slow, according to the report released Tuesday.

In 2011, the world reached 7 billion people and the UN predicts that 9 billion will not be reached in the next 15 years.

While the milestone is remarkable, the exact size of the world’s population is less critical than the dynamics of where people live, work and move, said Jack Goldstone, a professor of public policy at George Mason University.

“I think what’s important about 8 billion is that they’re going to be connected, and so we have to get used to the idea that what’s happening in other places directly affects our quality of life here,” Goldstone told NPR’s Morning edition.

This slowed population growth is explained by a number of factors, including more readily available birth control and better education. Some countries have birth rates so low that the UN predicts they will not be able to maintain their population.

Last year, the life expectancy of the least developed countries lagged that of the most developed countries by seven years. The UN warns that countries with older populations should develop better systems to care for their elderly, including social security and widely available health care.

Goldstone says that despite finite resources and climate change, the world could still manage with a population of 9 or even 10 billion, as long as attention is paid to “what people do, how they live and which specific areas or groups are most rapidly to grow”. .”

The report also predicts a reordering of the most populous countries. China will be overtaken by India as the most populous country by 2023 and will remain so until 2050, the report predicts. During the same period, the United States will be displaced by Nigeria as the third most populous country.

Migration, and especially international migration, is an important factor in population change, according to the report. All countries – whether facing “inflows or outflows” of migrants – should do what they can to bring order and stability to these changes, the authors say.

In an op-ed in USA Today, UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned that global population inequalities will continue to threaten the overall stability and longevity of the world’s population.

“Divisions are causing delays and deadlocks on issues from nuclear disarmament to terrorism to global health,” Guterres wrote. “But I never bet against human ingenuity and I have tremendous faith in human solidarity.”

Guterres hailed the progress of science and public health around the world, but warned that the “human family” is in grave danger if it becomes further divided.

There will be more famines if climate change isn’t slowed down, says Goldstone, adding that the big priority should be to help countries that will experience growth in energy – and those that are big burners now – get on a cleaner fuel path to come.

“The sooner we can move into that clean, cheaper future, the better for the world,” he adds.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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