One in 8 Billion

by Brianna Campagna

Even with 8 billion people occupying the world, everyone can occupy one square meter of room and fit on the Island of Cyprus. Although people take up a small portion of land, the effects that everyone makes on the world are greater than projected.

On November 15th, 2022, the world’s population officially hit 8 billion people.

Currently, China has the largest population with over 1.4 billion people. In 2023, India is predicted to surpass China. In an attempt to control China’s population, their government had a limit on how many children were allowed to be born into each family.

“[China] had a one-child policy until 2015, a two-child policy until 2021 and now a three-child policy,” International Studies teacher Mr. Robert Lehman said.

Most countries do not have limitations on family size to slow down the growing population.

“Governments do not necessarily want to control population because more people, which usually means more taxes and a larger labor force,” Mr. Lehman said.

China has been able to relax their household policies due to the advanced education women have the opportunity to receive.

“The bottom line is the more educated women are, the more opportunities they tend to have, which usually equates to wanting less children,” Lehman said. “Women’s rights and world population issues are intertwined.”

Lehman believes the world’s growing population is not negatively affecting the world.

“You always want populations to grow, just not too fast,” he said. “Growing populations spur economies, create stable labor forces and increase the odds for new inventions, medical advancements and all the ‘good stuff’ humans are capable of doing. In many parts of the world, population is already stabilizing or even shrinking. This will slow down worldwide growth. For example, the world just hit 8 billion people. Experts say that we will hit 9 billion in 2037.”

Others are rather concerned with the growing population.

“I worry that our planet lacks the capacity and resources to permanently sustain such a great number of people,” senior Rachel Leo said.

Rather than population control, Leo hopes that people will take individual responsibility to reduce the impact of climate change.

“I believe that efforts should be focused toward addressing the policies and corporations that allow environmental health issues to be disregarded rather than directly toward the number of people inhabiting the planet,” she said. “There are many avenues through which the general public can perform simple acts that will help our planet. Overall, living a ‘greener’ lifestyle lends itself to opposing the dangers we face due to the growing population. One way that I believe is especially valuable is to shop responsibly. The most sustainable lifestyle is one that consumes the least.”

World population status written on Mr. Lenzi’s chalkboard. Photo by Brianna Campagna.

Fun Facts

According to CNN, demographers reported the population growth rate has fallen to less than 1% per year, which should prevent the world from reaching 9 billion people until 2037.

There are currently  more men than women in the world, but that should even out by 2050, according to CBS.

According to Pew Research Center, China, India, the U.S., Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria and Brazil make up half of the world’s population.

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