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The world’s population is expected to reach 8 billion today

The planet’s population will reach 8 billion by Tuesday, according to United Nations projections that predict the number will grow to 8.5 billion by 2030 as life expectancy rises.

Global life expectancy was 72.8 years in 2019, an increase of almost nine years since 1990, according to the UN population division. Although it dropped to 71.0 years in 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In least developed countries, life expectancy in 2021 will lag the world average by seven years due to high maternal and child mortality, violence, conflict and the AIDS epidemic.

Since the 1960s, when the number of people worldwide first reached three billion, it has taken just over a decade to pass each new milestone of one billion people. The UN’s latest forecast is that the eight billionth living person will be born on November 15.

But the rate of population expansion will only continue to grow if fertility rates remain high. In 2021, average fertility worldwide will be 2.3 births per woman over her lifetime, compared to about five births per woman in 1950, the UN said. In 2020, world population growth will fall below 1% per year for the first time since 1950.

Two-thirds of the world’s population live in a country or region where fertility is less than 2.1 births per woman, the UN said, about the level needed for long-term population stability in situations where mortality is low.

The UN predicts that the world’s population will peak at about 10.4 billion in the 2080s and will remain around that level until the beginning of the next century. Another forecast peaks at 9.67 billion in 2070, before slowly declining.

The most populous regions are in Asia, according to the UN, with China and India — each more than 1.4 billion people — making the largest population contributions. According to the UN, India is expected to surpass China’s population next year

Apart from the balance between births and deaths, immigration is a major driver of population growth. The UN predicts that migration will be the sole driver of population growth in high-income countries for decades to come.

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