October 29, 2011
The day of 7 billion is here. As per United Nations predictions, world population is estimated to reach 7 billion in coming months. UN is going to announce the projected world population of 7 billion on Oct 31 which is also being referred to as “day of seven billion”. The day is more of symbolic in nature as the seven billionth baby is not going to be born until next March 2012. By taking into account 1-2% margin of error in the projection model, 7 billionth baby could be born anytime between March 2012 and July 2014. As per Lutz et al., there is a 60% probability that the 7 billionth baby will be born between March 2012-Jul 2014 (source). The figure here shows uncertainty distribution of the time at which the world’s population reaches 7 billion.As a symbolic gesture, NGO Plan International is going to issue a birth certificate on Oct 31, marking an Indian baby girl in Uttar Pradesh as the 7 billionth child.
Well, if you want to know where you fit in this crowd of 7 billion, you can visit BBC page or 7 billionandme page. I was 4,372,720,343rd person alive on earth when I was born, while I was 78,916,646,853rd person ever born since history began. So What’s your number? The most astonishing number I got from the data was that since the day I was born 767,963 species have become extinct; that’s a mind boggling number! Another interesting number is the ratio of population under 15 vs population over 60. We are one of the youngest generation in history; majority of this younger generation lives in developing countries with scarce resources and opportunities.
The concern here should not be the exact date when the seven billionth child will be born but rather what steps need to be taken in coming years to handle the issues which are already looming upon us–scarcity of natural resources, food insecurity, fresh water scarcity, lack of sanitation and health care, imbalance in wealth distribution, imbalance in population distribution across different ages and so on. It’s a complicated issue and is going to affect all of us around the globe. Collective action would be required and hopefully the number 7 billion will result in 7 billion ideas, 7 billion steps forward…
Top image credit: Boston.com/Bigpicture|Edgard Garrido/Reuters