This is a hard number to digest, especially if you’re in bumper-to-bumper traffic right now . . .
The world’s population officially hits EIGHT BILLION people today.
That’s according to the U.N. They do projections based on birth rates and life expectancy. And today’s the day we cross the eight-billion mark. (Specifically at 12:00 P.M. Eastern, 9:00 A.M. Pacific.)
We’ve added another billion people in just over a decade. We were at seven billion in 2011.
If that seems like way too many people, the good news is population growth is slowing down. It should take 15 years before we hit nine billion people in 2037, then another 20-plus years to hit 10 billion around 2058.
Here’s a quick summary of how we got here . . .
We didn’t hit a billion people until 1804. So it took us 300,000 years to hit the one-billion mark . . . and just over 200 years to add seven billion more.
After 1804, it took another 123 years to hit two billion in 1927. Then three billion in 1960 . . . four by 1974 . . . five by 1987 . . . six billion in 1999 . . . and seven billion in 2011. (For perspective, that’s the year “Game of Thrones” premiered.)
Some people . . . including Elon Musk . . . don’t want population growth to slow down, and think it could lead to population collapse. So we wouldn’t have enough young people to take care of old people, or keep the economy churning.
But obviously, people worried about climate change aren’t as excited about the prospect of adding more of us to an already crowded planet.
For what it’s worth, the U.N. is touting it as an accomplishment of humanity. Current life expectancy is just under 73 years, up from 58 half a century ago. And they think we’ll hit 77 years by 2050.
But while eight billion might be a, quote, “milestone in human development,” they also say it’s a day to consider “humanity’s shared responsibility for the planet.”