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World population hits 7 billion

2011-10-31 16:27

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World population hits 7 billion

World Population Landscape

Focus on China

Microblog Comments

Editor's Note: 

The newborn Philippine baby girl named Danica Camacho became the world’s symbolic "seven billionth baby" on Oct 31, 2011, according to the United Nations Population Fund. The organization said this global milestone presents both an opportunity and a challenge for the planet. While more people are living longer and healthier lives, gaps between rich and poor are widening and more people than ever are vulnerable to food insecurity and water shortages. So the milestone is also a wake-up call, a call to action. This special coverage introduces the basic facts about populous countries, challenges and problems caused by the spikes in human population.

World Population Overview

                                          Population explosion                                       

    The United Nations Population Fund predicts not only that the planet's population will reach 7 billion by Oct 31, but another billion will be here by 2025, and the total will reach 10 billion before the end of the century.

    According to demographers, the world's population didn't reach 1 billion until 1804, and it took 123 years to hit the 2 billion mark in 1927. Then the pace accelerated — 3 billion in 1959, 4 billion in 1974, 5 billion in 1987, 6 billion in 1998.

    "The constraints of the biosphere are fixed," Harvard University sociobiologist Edward O. Wilson wrote in his 2002 book, "The Future of Life."

   Wilson predicted the Earth's resources could be stretched to support a population of 10 billion, just about where UN population estimators say growth will level out by the end of the century.


World population hits 7 billion 1. CHINA

World population hits 7 billion   2. INDIA

China's population has increased to 1.37 billion, including 1.3397 billion on the mainland, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

China introduced its family planning policy in late 1970s in a bid to curb the large population's pressure on the environment and resources, as well as to raise the population's quality of life.

Without China's family planning policy, the world's seven billionth person would have been born five years ago, Prof. Zhai Zhenwu, dean of Beijing-based Renmin University's School of Sociology and Population, said on Oct 26.

According to statistics from China's National Population and Family Planning Commission (NPFPC), the proportion of China's population in the entire world has fallen to 19 percent, at present, from 22 percent three decades ago.

In the past decade, India's population grew by 17.6 percent, to 1.21 billion, according to census data. Though the growth rate has slowed, if there is no radical change in trend the country's population is expected to exceed 1.45 billion by 2035.

Based on current trends, India is set to overtake China as the world's largest country by 2025, according to the US Census Bureau.

Now, new national population policy that seeks to hasten the process of population stabilisation through a series of socio-economic measures.

World population hits 7 billion   3. US

World population hits 7 billion4.INDONESIA

World population hits 7 billion 5. BRAZIL
World population hits 7 billion 6. PAKISTAN

As of Oct 25, 2011, the United States has a total resident population of 312.4 million, making it the third most populous country in the world.

The Census Bureau projects a US population of 439 million in 2050, which is a 46% increase from 2007 (301.3 million). However, the United Nations projects a US population of 402 million in 2050, an increase of 32% from 2007.

With over 238 million people, it is the world's fourth most populous country, and it is projected that by 2025, Indonesia's population will have reached 273 million.

The Indonesian National Family Planning Programme is implemented by the government with involvement and participation by the community and private sectors.

Brazil's poulation is approximately 185 million, and is predominantly young: 62 percent of Brazilians are under 29 years of age, according to website of Embassy of Brazil in London.

Brazil's rate of population growth, high throughout the early and mid-20th century, has decreased significantly since 1970, due largely to economic modernisation and a dramatic urbanisation process. 

Pakistan has over 180 million population, according to Pakistan media The Nation.

With four million births per year, Pakistan is poised to become the world's fourth most populous nation in just under 40 years, Al Jazeera said.

World population hits 7 billion 7. NIGERIA
World population hits 7 billion 8. BANGLADESH
World population hits 7 billion 9. RUSSIA
World population hits 7 billion 10. JAPAN

At the current annual growth rate of 3 percent, in 20 years time Nigeria's population could reach a staggering 300 million from the present estimate of close to 160 million, according to UN.

42.2 percent of 67 million youth population in the country were out of job.

Nigeria will be the third most populous country in the world by 2100, up from its current seventh position.

Bangladesh's population stands at 150.5 million in 2011, according to a UN projection released on Oct 26, five-days ahead of when the world population is expected to reach 7 billion.

Explaining Bangladesh's plans in a world of 7 billion people, the director general for family planning M N Neazuddin said they have already targeted to bring down the total fertility rate from the current of 2.5 to 2.1.

Russia's population, now at 143 million, has shrunk by 5.7 million since 1991.

In May 2006, in an attempt to reverse the population fall, the Russian government offered a bonus of 250,000 rubles (about $9,200) to women who would have a second child.

Another government strategy is to encourage immigration.

The population of Japan as per June 2008 stands at 127.7 million.

Japan's low birthrate and ageing society are taking its economy to the brink of a demographic crisis to which it is struggling to find solutions.

The current population will dip below 100 million in 2046, according to the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research in Tokyo.


Challenges loom as world population hits 7 billion.

Experts cautioned that strains are intensifying: rising energy and food prices, environmental stresses, more than 900 million people undernourished.

"Extreme poverty and large families tend to reinforce each other," says Lester Brown, the environmental analyst who heads the Earth Policy Institute in Washington. "The challenge is to intervene in that cycle and accelerate the shift to smaller families."

Without such intervention, Brown says, food and water shortages could fuel political destabilization in developing regions. The International Water Management Institute shares these concerns, predicting that by 2025 about 1.8 billion people will live in places suffering from severe water scarcity.


  Gender ratios

Aging crises

World population hits 7 billionIn today's world, many youngsters con't find job due to high competition and lacking of education and skills.

    Recently, anger over unemployment, austerity, growing inequality, tax policies and opposition to the financial elite has sparked the protests in 951 cities in 82 countries around the world.

World population hits 7 billion

As the global population hits seven billion, experts are warning that skewed gender ratios could fuel the emergence of volatile "bachelor nations" driven by an aggressive competition for brides.

    In India and Vietnam the sex ratio is around 112 boys for every 100 girls. In China it is almost 120 to 100 - and in some places higher than 130, according to AFP.

World population hits 7 billion

As life expectancy grows and fertility rates decline, a diminishing working-age population will support ever more dependents.

    The effects of this demographic shift will be staggering.  Economic, social, and even military policy throughout the next century will have to respond to this unalterable trend.

Solution: Keeping girls in school ? 

Many environmentalists agree that population control is essential if humanity is to move on to a more sustainable track, but how can this be done?

Former Irish President Mary Robinson said keeping girls in school was one of the most important things policymakers could do to address the coming challenges of an ever-increasing population.Joel Cohen, a professor of population studies at Rockefeller University and Columbia University in New York, said universal secondary education offered a way to reduce population in high-fertility regions.

Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, former Nigerian health minister and executive director of the United Nations Population Fund or UNFPA, told Reuters his focus is very much on empowering women in such a way as to change the cultural norms.

 "When a young woman goes through at least secondary education, her children survive better, physically they mature, emotionally they mature, and because they have education, they are able to make choices," Osotimehin said.

"It is not just their ability to make the choice about family planning. It's also that they have power of their own, which enables them to live a life of dignity and respect."

The Value of Children in China

Thirty-one years ago, China introduced its family planning policy, conventionally misrepresented in the Western media as ‘one-child policy,’ in a bid to curb the population's pressure on the environment and resources, as well as to raise the people’s quality of life. It officially restricts urban couples  of China's dominant Han people, not minority ethnic groups, to having only one child, while allowing exemptions in certain cases.

World population hits 7 billion

Under the compulsory policy, 400 million people have been prevented from being added to the China’s population within three decades. But problems such as an aging population and skewed sex ratio have also emerged with this policy.   

Although the policy is becoming more flexible in allowing a second child, it will remain unchanged in the comingdecades.

As the global population will hit 7 billion at the end of this October, we take a brief look at the population-related events that make headlines in China.


Gone, the slogans

Driving through China's countryside a decade ago, it was not uncommon to see harsh-sounding family-planning slogans painted on the sides of buildings. This is particulary obvious in underveloped, remote regions where an entrenched value  holds that "having no male heir is the gravest of the three cardinal offences against filial piety."

In recent years, as the government advocates a people-first philosophy in governance, those slogans disappear quickly and some can only be found on photos.

"No one can ever escape punishment on having illegal children."

"The more children you have, the more money you lose."

"Abortion is encouraged, children are never welcomed.”

 Coming, the challenges 

Sex imbalance


In 1982, China recorded for the first time an imbalance in the sex ratio among newborns in the country. It became worse during the 1990s and peaked in 2004, when121 males were born for every 100 females, according to figures from the National Bureau of Statistics. The figure stood at118 in2010.

The traditional preference for sons over daughters has led to the abuse of sex-selective abortion, especially in rural areas.

World population hits 7 billion

It is estimated that 10 years later, about 24 million men will not be able to find women to get married. And male laborers will move into the industries that are traditionally dominated by the female due to oversupply of male labors.

Authorities have begun a national campaign to crack down on illegal fetal sex testing and sex-selective abortions in August. The government is also trying to change people's minds of sex prejudice and implementing policies encouraging gender equity.

World population hits 7 billionAging... 

By the end of 2011, China will have a total of 177 million people above the age of 60, over 13 percent of the total population.

This is an increase of almost 3 percentage points compared with a decade ago, and the figure is expected to rise to 216 million by 2015, accounting for 16 percent of the total population. 


Family planning policies have loosened over the years. In many parts of the country, couples made up of people from one-child families are permitted to have two children. In rural areas, couples are permitted to have a second child if their first child is female.

In Zhouqu, a county in northwestern Gansu province, the restriction is relaxed for families who lost children in a massive mudslide a year ago. Operations to untie women's tubes that were tied as a result of past enforcement of the family planning policy are now free.

In Guangdong, a province in southern China, the government had applied to the central government for approval of allowing a second child for couples with either the husband or wife is an only child. Although the plan was dropped afterwards, the practice shows the initial attempt of relaxing the compulsory policy in the country.

"We'll fine-tune the family planning policy gradually,” said Li Bin, minister of the National Population and Family Planning Commission.

From arranged marriages to blind dates, building a family in China is an evolving process driven by political change, economic development, and social trends, all intrinsically linked under the umbrella of globalization.

Micro Bloggers Speak Up 

As the global population hits 7 billion, Chinese micro bloggers share their worries and hopes about the future.

World population hits 7 billion

World population hits 7 billion

World population hits 7 billion

World population hits 7 billion

Snow-floating season:
If the earth was a coach, it would be fined due to overload immediately as it gets on the road.

Finally comes 7 billion! That means numerous problems as well as numerous wonderful things. 


J Lolita:

Sometimes I wonder, what is the meaning of writing a micro blog every day? The world is so big, and I am so small among the 7 billion people on Earth. No one would care what I am thinking, or saying, or playing… but, I will still write here; even if no one pays any attention, I am recording the life of myself. 


The world population is to reach 7 billion. From primitive society, when human beings are bullied by animals, to modern society, when people prey on animals, many kinds of animals are on the edge of extinction. Human beings have become the largest species on Earth. What will happen to humans in the future?


World population hits 7 billion

World population hits 7 billion


World population hits 7 billion

World population hits 7 billion

High mountain:

Among the 7 billion, Guangdong has 100 million. There's nothing to worry about. Even another 7 billion is OK. The global village will prosper!



It reminds me of a song that goes like this: don't bear, don't bear, don't bear, the world is not as big as you imagine. Don't bear, don't bear, don't bear, or else the world is to explode, explode, explode. Don't bear, don't bear… 


China's family planning policy helps cut 400 million population. However, it's just the losing 400 million that makes society age earlier than expected. Currently, an ordinary family is composed of four seniors, one couple and one child.
Lazy cat:

I've been studying for so many years, only for the purpose of finding a good job in the future. The huge living pressures make me care about nothing else and all this is because of huge population. Now it reaches 7 billion. Hurry! Move to another planet!

World population hits 7 billion


World population hits 7 billion

World population hits 7 billion

World population hits 7 billion


Chinese people stay in the same land over the past three centuries while Anglo-Saxons have expanded from Europe to Canada, the US, Australia…and the whole world. They are encouraging birth while we are limiting birth. How unselfish we are!


Shan Bingbing:

Among 7 billion people, we just know a few thousand, among whom we just have contact with a few hundred, among whom we just make friends with a few dozen, among whom we just keep a few in mind. Therefore, treasure every one we meet.


Hahaha, at the moment when world population is to reach 7 billion, my little nephew is joining it. Wish him health and happiness.
Summer stream:

As one of 7 billion, I'm so minute but I'm important. Cherish myself, cherish family members, friends and those related or unrelated to us. Cherish all those living together with us on Earth. 

World population hits 7 billion

World population hits 7 billion

World population hits 7 billion

World population hits 7 billion


Pollution deteriorates as population grows. How much longer can Earth hold? 10 years, 20 years or 30 years? Maybe longer or maybe soon we will disappear with Earth. Maybe what we can do for Earth is nothing but low-carbon and environmental protection, or maybe something more. 



Population of India or Africa is hard to control due to elements such as culture, religion, etc. The world population grows without checks. Poor people bear more and become poorer. China should continue population control.



Lu Minghui:

Personally, I support family-planning policy. Earth is like a boat which holds all of us. If there are too many people, the boat may sink in the end.



Waste of natural resources makes some people in the world suffer hunger. Humans need five Earths to support all people living the way Americans live because the resources an American child consumes is 7 times that a Chinese child does, according to The US Environmental Think Tanks.


World population hits 7 billion


World population hits 7 billion

World population hits 7 billion

World population hits 7 billion


If there was no industria-lization but only primitive energy system, how much photosynthesis can support 7 billion people? That means the extra resource is a deficit. If the earth is overdrawn, how can humans live on? 


To me, one child is best, no matter boy or girl. If everyone thinks so, the world population will not be so huge and the gap between rich and poor will not be so large.

Zhou Yunzhong:

On Oct 31, a baby in one corner of the earth will be the 7 billionth person. It will be a moment worth commemorating, but also brings worries: How will the world feed so many people?


Growing population and scarce resources can trigger wars. History tells us that only wars can eliminate people and gain resources. Wherever there are people, there are conflicts for benefits.


World population hits 7 billion


World population hits 7 billion


World population hits 7 billion


World population hits 7 billion



The increasing depletion of energy resources, environmental pollution, global warming, melting glaciers, rising sea levels, frequent earthquakes, floods, tsunami… all of this tells us that a harmonious world is merely a fantasy, while the conflict and competition will become increasingly fierce. 


Sankou Liangzi:

How can the earth bear such an exponential population growth? Why the prophecy of 2012 exists? I think maybe it is human beings’ boundless desire and unlimited reproduction that make the earth uncomfortable and result in frequent natural disasters. Therefore, we should be careful. We can't dig our own graves…

I am wqr:

The larger the population becomes, the higher housing prices will rise, and the more difficult for citizens to afford a house…  

Mediocre Lillian:

When I saw the news last night, I thought maybe the population has reached 7 billion years ago, only that they are not registered residents.  

World population hits 7 billion


World population hits 7 billion

 World population hits 7 billion

World population hits 7 billion

Sky of Bricks_GenSky:

How to deal with the burden on global social and economic development brought by population increase will be one of the major challenges for human beings. The earth can only feed 2 billion people if each enjoys the food for ordinary people in developed countries; while it can feed 12 billion in terms of the lowest food standard. 


 Xiaozhou in Yunnan:

The world population has surpassed 7 billion. I feel conflicted about China's loosening the family planning policy in the future. On the one hand, the negative consequences of birth control have already begun to appear. However, the amount of natural resources is limited, different lives need space to survive.

Mother of G Major:

It is not difficult to understand that the population growth mainly comes from developing countries. Population matters for a sustainable future. Economists who advocate the bonus of population growth will not survive until 2100, and they cannot see the tragedy for human beings then. 

Old Two:

Some are born and some die, some are rich and some are poor, some are happy and some are sad… we have to stop paying too much attention on these issues. I'm just a member of the 7 billion on this planet;so let it go.