The Earth’s population has reached a milestone by surpassing 8 billion people, the United Nations said this week. But the rate of increase is falling, and global population may begin to decline late in the century after topping out at about 10.4 billion, according to the UN Population division. www.science.org/content/article/news-glance-carbon-trackers-china-s-zero-covid-19-tweaks-and-8-billion-humans
The UN’s World Population Prospects 2022 report notes that two-thirds of the global population already lives in a country or area where lifetime fertility is below 2.1 births per woman, roughly the level required for zero growth for a population with low mortality. More than half of the projected increase in global population between now and 2050 will be concentrated in just eight countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Tanzania.
Lalita Panicker is consulting editor, views, Hindustan Times, New Delhi