Seven billion

On 31 October, a newborn baby somewhere in the world will become the 7 billionth member of the human race. Or so says the UN – alternatively, this date could be at least a year too early.

Behind the UN’s uncertainty may lie outdated and unreliable census data. The suspicion is that millions of births and deaths have not been counted and there is huge uncertainty about the rate at which women are giving birth.

The precise “day of 7 billion” may not matter much. But the inaccuracies make it harder to answer a more important question: is human population set to peak within the next few decades or will it carry on growing beyond that?

Learn more here or here.

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