The world’s population has reached eight billion people, the United Nations announced on Tuesday, November 15.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in a statement said: “The milestone is an occasion to celebrate diversity and advancements while considering humanity’s shared responsibility for the planet.”
The UN attributes the growth to human development, with people living longer thanks to improvements in public health, nutrition, personal hygiene and medicine.
Middle-income countries, mainly in Asia, accounted for most of that growth, gaining some 700 million people since 2011. India added about 180 million people and is set to surpass China as the world’s most populous nation next year.
While births have been steadily declining in the United States, Europe, and Japa; some of the world’s poorest countries, most of which are in sub-Saharan Africa, witnessed spikes in population as a result of higher fertility rates, putting their development goals at risk.