The world’s population was projected to hit 8 billion people on Tuesday—adding more than 1 billion people in just 12 years, according to a UN announcement. The majority of the growth occurred in Asia, which grew by roughly 700 million people since 2011, with India adding 180 million people alone. In fact, the South Asian nation is set to overtake China as the world’s most populous country in 2023. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described the explosive growth as a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it’s a “testament to scientific breakthroughs and improvements in nutrition, public health and sanitation,” he said. However, an exponentially increasing population also means a strain to food supply, climate disasters, and income inequality. The announcement also comes at a time when the birth rate has stagnated, falling to less than 1 percent per year. That means that the world population isn’t expected to rise another billion until 2037. However, with the war in Ukraine and a growing climate crisis, Guterres still warns that the expanding population is cause for concern.
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