Earth Population Just Hit 8 Billion People

by Megan Molseed
(Getty Images/Alex Segre)

The Earth’s population has been increasing rapidly over the last decade or so. Now reports are noting that we have added a billion people to the total population in just 12 years. And, with this latest update on the world’s population, the United Nations has announced that it is declaring today, November 15, as the “Day of Eight Billion.”

There Are Multiple Components Leading To This Marked Increase In The Earth’s Population

The importance of this milestone does not escape many. And, scientist note, this increase has been made possible by a variety of logistics including longer life spans among the worldwide population. Humans all across the globe are living longer thanks to a variety of scientific advances.

Healthcare has made major strides in preventing and curing multitudes of formerly deadly diseases. From vaccines to preventative medicine, the results are clear…it leads to long lifespans for much of the planet’s population.

Additionally, advances in sanitation issues including providing cleaner water have slowed the development of diseases that were a threat to entire populations in the past. Scientific advances improving the fertilization and irrigation of crops have increased production. Resulting in improved nutrition. Additionally, medical advances have led to lower infant mortality. In short, more children are being born…but far fewer are losing their lives due to what are now preventable circumstances.

However, these benefits leading to this record-breaking world population have their negative effects, as the growing population moves through resources at a faster rate than any population has in the past.

Pollution And Over Harvesting Are Causing Disastrous Effects As World’s Population Continues To Rise

Pollution, overfishing, and overhunting are having an impact across the globe. Chunks of valuable wildlife populations including ocean life are beginning to disappear at an alarming rate. The forests, wetlands, prairies, and wildlands alike are falling to development changes. Growth in development, agriculture, and even commercial products is leading to these overdevelopment concerns.

“The exact impacts on future human life, I think, are still somewhat yet to be determined,” notes one expert, Patrick Gerland. Gerland oversees population estimates for the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

“So far, the overall experience is that the world has been successful in adapting,” Gerland explains.

“And finding solutions to our problems,” he adds. “I think we need to be somewhat optimistic.”

Gerland adds that while our planet has long been “successful in adapting” to these changes, climate change remains a viable threat to the Earth’s future. And the populations within.

“Simply maintaining the status quo and doing nothing is not an option,” he explains.

“Whether we like it or not changes will be happening,” Gerland adds. “And the situation will not improve by itself. There is a need for current and future interventions.”