Tops 7 Billion!
United Nations (UN) offi cials said
Halloween would be special this year.
Not because of vampires, werewolves or
zombie cheerleaders, but because the world
population reached 7 billion people!
Gathering up and analyzing population
DATA from around the globe, the UN
Population Division carefully tracks the
world’s growing population. UN experts look
at birthrates, death rates and even where
people are moving to.
Symbolically, three newborns were
offi cially dubbed the 7 billionth baby! Nargis,
a girl, was born in India on Halloween.
There’s also Danica, who was born a
bit earlier in the Phillipines. And there’s,
Alexander, who was born in Russia.
How many is 7 billion? Just counting to a
billion would take you about 30 years—now
multiply that by seven!
For the past few decades, the world
population has been growing at a pretty
steady rate. A billion more people call Earth
home about every dozen years. (FYI: it was
way back in 1800 when our planet grew
to a population of 1 billion. Today, China
has a population of 1.3 billion, and India’s
population is at 1.2 billion!) Worldwide, about
255 babies are born every minute while
about 106 people die per minute.
But as our planet becomes more
crowded, experts expect our population
growth to slow. Their current estimates have
us reaching 8 billion people in about 13 years
and just over 9 billion by 2050. They say the
fastest growing population will be in Africa.
The UN tracks world population to help
countries plan better. With 7 billion people,
will there be enough food and natural
resources? How much air pollution and
garbage will all these people generate?
What about housing, energy, healthcare and
transportation? And will a more crowded
world be harder hit by things like drought,
heat waves, fl ooding or epidemics?