Humanity has reached a major milestone in 2022: the 8 billionth person has been born. It took only 12 years for the population to grow from 7 billion to 8 billion people, showing that the human population is growing exponentially compared to most of our species’ history. China and India lead the world’s countries with population; both countries are closing in on 1.5 billion citizens each. The United States is a distant third, with 338 million people within its borders. Asia is by far the continent with the largest human population.
The world population growth rate hovers around .83% per year. This number is not even across all countries; some countries’ populations are rapidly growing, while others have been hovering around zero for years. Nigeria and Pakistan have the highest growth rates in the world. They have extremely high fertility rates, which contribute to their growth rates. In Nigeria, 5.14 kids are born to each fertile woman, which is extremely high in comparison to most countries. China and Russia are not growing at all due to various factors, despite their sizable populations. Their fertility rates are both below replacement rates (1.18 and 1.5 respectively).
Life expectancy is one reason why the human population is growing so rapidly. In the 1800s, global life expectancy was 29 years. This pales in comparison to the 73 years of age that the average person in 2022 can hope to achieve. People are able to live much longer due to much better global health. A country’s health can be determined by its life expectancy and its fertility rate. Both measurements have an inverse relationship to each other, so the higher the life expectancy, the lower the fertility rate. Spain, Italy, and Japan pave the way for highest life expectancy, with citizens expected to live well into their 80s.