Day of 8 Billion – 9 Interesting Population Questions and Answers

1. When will the world population reach 8 billion?

The day of 8 billion, which is when we say global population will reach 8 billion people, is November 15, 2022. This date is chosen by demographers at the United Nations and is a symbolic date. But spoiler: the reality is that no one knows exactly when we’ll reach exactly 8 billion people.

2. How do we know the world has 8 billion people?

The Statistics Division at the UN is responsible for collecting and tracking global population data. The data itself comes to the UN at the country level and is submitted by individual nations’ statistical offices. So a country counts its population, provides its population data to the United Nations, and the UN uses that data to determine the global population.

3. When did we reach previous milestones of human population growth?

Global population reached 1 billion in 1804.
Global population reached 2 billion in 1927.
Global population reached 3 billion in 1960.
Global population reached 4 billion in 1974.
Global population reached 5 billion in 1987.
Global population reached 6 billion in 1998.
Global population reached 7 billion in 2010.
Global population reached 8 billion in 2022.

4. When are we expected to reach future population milestones?

According to the UN’s 2022 World Population Prospects report, global population will reach 9 billion in 2037 and global population will reach 10 billion in 2058. In the year 2100, global population is expected to be 10.35 billion.

Chart of UN population projections

5. Population by Continent: How many people live on each continent?

The population of Asia is 4,867,348,087.
The population of Africa is 1,426,736,320.
The population of Europe is 743,555,265.
The population of North America is 600,323,171.
The population of South America is 436,806,610.
The population of Oceania is 45,038,560.
The population of Antarctica is 0.

6. Which country has the largest population?

In 2022, China has the largest population. China’s 2022 population is 1.426 billion. India’s population is almost as large at 1.417 billion. It is projected that by the end of 2023, India will be the most populous country when it surpasses China in size.

Bar graph shows the population size for the ten most populous countries on the planet

7. What countries have the highest rate of natural population change?

In 2022, the 10 countries with the highest rate of natural population change (which does not account for migration) are:

• Niger, 3.72%
• Democratic Republic of Congo, 3.24%
• Mali, 3.23%
• Somalia, 3.21%
• Central African Republic, 3.13%
• Chad, 3.10%
• Uganda, 3.06%
• Angola, 3.03%
• Tanzania, 2.99%
• Afghanistan, 2.82%

8. When will global population peak?

According to the 2022 World Population Prospects, global population will peak in 2086 at 10,430,926,281. World population is expected to grow up until 2086, and world population is expected to shrink after 2086.

9. What causes population growth?

Global population growth happens when there are more births than there are deaths worldwide. Anything that impacts how many people are born, or how many people die, will impact global population numbers.


Image credits: Market (Xavi Cabrera on Unsplash); UN population projections chart (World: Total Population by the United Nations, DESA, Population Division)