11 Billion People by 2100 Will Greatly Impact Global Health

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The population of Planet Earth is expected to exceed 11 billion people by the end of the century, according to new official United Nations population projections.

At the moment, the global population is about 7.3 billion, an increase of a billion people in the past 12 years.

While the global population continues to grow, it’s doing so at a lower rate than before. Recently, the Earth’s inhabitants grew at 1.24 percent each year, while it’s currently down to 1.18 per year, creating an increase of 83 million people annually.

This continuing growth, as well as a growing number of people with unprecedented life expectancies, will create new and lasting challenges for healthcare worldwide.

John Wilmoth, director of the population division at the United Nations, told Healthline that the rapid decline in child mortality and increased life expectancy are the primary reasons for the population growth and one of the greatest achievements of the human species.

“That’s what’s driving most of this,” he said. “Sometimes people forget to see this as a sign of our success.”

The population growth could have wide-ranging impacts on the environment, economy, and health, including maternal and child mortality and lagging government investments in health, education, and infrastructure.

But Wilmoth said the numbers alone aren’t the problem. Currently, with 7.3 billion people on the planet, about a billion of those use the most resources.

“It’s not a simple question of human numbers,” he said. “If you want to diagnose the problems, look at the rate of human consumption.”

Source: Healthline (link opens in a new window)

Environment, Health Care
public health