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7 billion people next week

By Murray Bourne, 26 Oct 2011

The world population is estimated to reach 7 billion next week - on 31st Oct 2011.

According to the United Nations' 7 Billion Actions site (no longer available), the population on 25 Oct 2011 (the date of this post) was 6,998,970,000.

Updated Current Population interactive

I have updated the interactive which shows up-to-the-second population estimates. It no longer uses Flash so it will work on more mobile devices.

Here it is:

Current World Population - Live

You can choose different dates through history (and in the future) and get a sense of the population growth.

crowd scene
Crowd of people [Image source: PictFactory]

It's just an estimate...

Other population estimates are lower than the UN estimate.

According to the US government's Census Bureau, the population is around 30 million lower at 6,970,751,682 and will pass the 7 billion mark sometime in March 2012.

Meanwhile, the CIA says the population is currently around 45 million less than the UN estimate, at 6,953,700,000.

They also point out the population growth rate is currently 1.092%.

According to the United Nations (page no longer available), the growth rate in the most developed countries is 0.3%, while in the least developed it is 2.3%.

The current total fertility rate is 2.46 children born/woman, and by country, this ranges from 1.65 in the most developed countries to 4.23 children per woman in the least developed countries.

Where to from here?

Current trends are inevitable - the developed countries will continue to struggle with low birth rates and populations will begin to decline (this is already the case in Japan). The ratio of working-age to retired people will increase, resulting in a greater taxation burden for the workers.

The developing countries will have higher birth rates for quite some time, resulting in large numbers of (restless) young people. One key to improving their future will be education, especially for women.

See the 4 Comments below.

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