There are many pieces to our ever-growing world, as the world population growth has hit 8 billion people at a growth rate oof 0.83% per year. On all six habitable continents live billions of people, with China, India, and the United States holding the largest populations. However, not every country is growing at the same rate. Countries like Nigeria, Pakistan, and Bangladesh currently have the highest growth rates, ranging from 1% to 2.4%. By fertility rate, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Indonesia have the highest, ranging from 2.15 to 5.14. Finally, in terms of migration rate (per 1000 people), the United States, Russia, and Brazil are the only countries that have seen an increase. Nations like China, Mexico, and India are actually seeing a decrease in their migration rate.
Since 1800, global life expectancy has grown from 29 to 73 years, indicating better health of the population and a generally older population. World health is an important factor that researchers and experts focus on when studying the population. The five healthiest countries on the planet are Spain, Italy, Iceland, Japan, and Switzerland. Such a title is determined by two factors: life expectancy and health index score. Spain has an average life expectancy of 83.98 years and an incredibly high health index score of 92.75. In contrast, the five unhealthiest countries on Earth are South Sudan, Somalia, Chad, Central African Republic, and Sierra Leone. South Sudan has a life expectancy of 49.90 years and a health index score of 0.
How We Have Grown
The growth of the world population also has had a notable impact on business across the globe. Since this uptick in population growth, global GDP has slowed, as the current population is expected to push it by less than 10%. Also, the potential for labor shortages is much greater. In fact, by 2030, surpluses are set to become shortfalls, risking $10 trillion. There has also been a growing demand for many industries to be able to serve an aging population, with assisted living facilities, pharmaceuticals and hospitals set to boom.
On the other hand, a growing population has the potential to increase our productivity, as longer lives lead to increased capital. Also, as countries get larger, there is an increase in multinational corporations. In 2016, MNCs and affiliates contributed nearly 40% of global output alone. Finally, much of the GDP is shifting towards sub-Saharan Africa. This means that effective labor growth rates, currently sitting at 2.22%, are predicted to outpace Europe and the Americas between 2020 and 2060.
Experts present both new opportunities and potential pitfalls that may arise due to the growth of the Earth’s population. “The milestone is an occasion to celebrate diversity and advancements,” says United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, “while considering humanity’s shared responsibility for the planet.” The general consensus from most experts like Guterres is that this population milestone is one to be celebrated with caution, keeping in mind the heavy environmental implications that a feat of this may bring.
It only took 12 years for us to jump from 7 billion to 8 billion, and experts say that the 9 billionth baby is just 15 years away. The bottom line remains that the road to get there is unknown, and the only constant is change in our ever-growing world.