As Global Population Nears 8 Billion, New UN Population Growth Projections Point Up Growing Disparities that Need Redress, Says the Population Institute

Today, World Population Day, the United Nations Population Division released World Population Prospects 2022, which includes new projections of world population growth through 2100. The new report projects that global population will surpass 8 billion people in November of this year and will likely peak around 10.4 billion around 2080. Global population reached 7 billion on October 31, 2011. In 1950, world population was estimated at 2.6 billion.

Commenting on these new projections, Kathleen Mogelgaard, President and CEO of the Population Institute, made the following statement:

“Today’s revision of global population projections released by the UN Population Division paints a mixed picture. On the one hand, it indicates a slow-down in global population growth relative to previous projections. This is evidence of overall progress in health services and reproductive rights, which helped cut fertility rates in half during the last half-century, especially in the developed world.

“On the other hand, the new numbers also reflect persistently high population growth rates in many other places across the global South. In those population growth hotspots, rapid growth compounds other problems such as natural resource constraints, food insecurity, poverty, pandemic recovery, and lack of access to education and health services.

“High population growth is a priority equity issue.  It causes disproportionate suffering in poorer, less developed parts of the world, and exacerbates health disparities, gender inequality, and other inequities youth and other marginalized groups face.

“Reproductive autonomy—the ability to freely determine whether and when to have children – is a basic human right.  Yet it remains out of reach for too many women and girls. Many are pressured into marriage and having children while they are still children themselves.

“The new population projections tell a tale of two diverging worlds and underscore the need to rethink our global commitments.  The UN report should prompt the international donor community to direct more attention and resources to redress global disparities and chronic inequities before current demographic trends make them much worse. More support for family planning and educating and empowering girls is long overdue.  It could dramatically lower regional birth rates, generate strong economic returns, and improve prospects for a more just and sustainable future.”