Global population growth has over time become increasingly concentrated among the poorest countries, most of which are in sub-Saharan Africa.
The United Nations (UN) reminded the international community that the world's population is projected to reach 8 billion on Tuesday.
It is "a milestone in human development. This unprecedented growth is due to the gradual increase in human lifespan owing to improvements in public health, nutrition, personal hygiene and medicine," the UN said.
While it took the global population 12 years to grow from 7 to 8 billion, it will take 15 years, until 2037, for it to reach 9 billion, a sign that the overall growth rate of the global population is slowing.
"The milestone is an occasion to celebrate diversity and advancements while considering humanity's shared responsibility for the planet," said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
World population hits 8 billion today.— TRT World (@trtworld) November 15, 2022
Although it took 12 years for the global population to grow from 7 billion to 8 billion, it is projected that it will take 15 years for it to reach 9 billion, signalling a slowdown in overall population growth pic.twitter.com/iOiRZIRB6L
Countries with the highest fertility levels tend to be those with the lowest income per capita. Global population growth has therefore over time become increasingly concentrated among the world's poorest countries, most of which are in sub-Saharan Africa.
Even though population growth magnifies the environmental impact of economic development, rising per capita incomes are the main driver of unsustainable patterns of production and consumption.
"Yet, slower population growth over many decades could help to mitigate the further accumulation of environmental damage in the second half of the current century," said the UN release.