September 17, 2019
Estimated number of people on earth? 7.58 billion
WASHINGTON - (INT) - World population is estimated to reach 7.58 billion this month as World Population Day is celebrated on July 11 but the U.S. Census Bureau is projecting another milestone: Annual population growth will slip under 1.0% in 2020-2021 for the first time since 1950.

The U.S. Census Bureauís International Data Base, which estimates that 7.58 billion people will be on the planet on that day, shows that world population increased by more than 50% in the 32 years since the Day of Five Billion in 1987.

The road to 7.58 billion

From 10,000 BC through the early 1800s, the world population stayed below 1 billion globally. By the 20th Century, population totals soared, more than doubling between 1920 and 1980 from fewer than 2 billion people to almost 4.5 billion in 60 years.

While this growth has been rapid, annual global population growth rate actually peaked in the early 1960s at 2.2%. It has since gradually begun to decline.

In fact, the Census Bureauís International Data Base projects 2020-2021 to be the first year since 1950 where the annual population growth rate will drop below 1%. That number is expected to continue to drop.

Fertility rates dropping worldwide

While specific numbers and trends vary between and within nations, Total Fertility Rates (TFR), the average number of children a woman is expected to have, are generally dropping around the world.

Even regions that have traditionally had high population growth are showing similar trends. Their populations are still growing but at a continually slowing pace. In Malawi, for example, the TFR has been dropping for the past 10 years.

In countries like Japan, which have long had declining rates of population growth, the TFR has been below the replacement rate of 2.1 (enough to replace the mother and father in the population) for decades.

The United Nations declared July 11 as World Population Day in 1989, two years after world population crossed the 5 billion mark.
Story Date: July 12, 2019
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