Day of Seven Billion

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Estimated and projected populations of the world and its inhabited continents from 1950. The shaded regions correspond to range of projections by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs; for example, it estimates that the world population will reach 8 billion between 2022 and 2035.[1]
Estimated and projected populations of the world and its inhabited continents from 1950. The shaded regions correspond to range of projections by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs; for example, it estimates that the world population will reach 8 billion between 2022 and 2035.[1]

The Day of Seven Billion, October 31, 2011, is the day that has been officially designated by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) as the approximate day on which the world's population reached seven billion people.[2] United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is to speak at the United Nations building in New York City on this new milestone in the size of world population and the issues that it will raise, along with promoting the UNFPA's new program named 7 Billion Actions,[3] which will seek to "build global awareness around the opportunities and challenges associated with a world of seven billion people" and inspire individuals and organizations to take action.[4]

Background[edit]

Population Year Years elapsed since
previous milestone
1 billion 1804 ––
2 billion 1927 123 123
 
3 billion 1960 33 33
 
4 billion 1974 14 14
 
5 billion 1987 13 13
 
6 billion 1999 12 12
 
7 billion 2011 12 12
 
8 billion 2027 16 16
 
9 billion 2046 19 19
 
World population milestones (USCB estimates)

The world had already reached a population of five billion on on July 11, 1987,[5] and six billion twelve years later on October 12, 1999.[6]

United Nations Population Fund spokesman Omar Gharzeddine disputed the date of the Day of Six Billion by stating, "The U.N. marked the '6 billionth' [person] in 1999, and then a couple of years later the Population Division itself reassessed its calculations and said, actually, no, it was in 1998."[7]

Choice of date[edit]

According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division, October 31, 2011 is a symbolic date chosen based on data interpolated from its 5-year-period estimates. The estimates are based on data sources such as recent censuses, surveys, vital and population registers, and published every other year as part of its World Population Prospects.

The actual date that the world population reached 7 billion had an error margin of around 12 months owing to inaccuracies in demographic statistics, particularly in some developing countries (even the world's best censuses have 1–2% error).[citation needed] Assuming a 1% global error margin, the 7 billion world population could have been reached as early as March 20, 2011 or as late as April 12, 2012.[8]

However, the International Programs Division of the United States Census Bureau estimated that total world population would not reach 7 billion until sometime on March 12, 2012.[9] It also offered an estimate that differed by about three months from the UN estimate for the Day of Six Billion.[10]

The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis estimated a date between February 2012 and July 2014.[11]

Seven billionth person[edit]

United Nations Population Fund spokesman Omar Gharzeddine said, "There's no way that the U.N. or anyone could know where or at what minute on the 31st the 7 billionth baby will be born", and the United Nations is not giving official status to this and similar publicity efforts.[7] Nevertheless, several newborns were selected by various groups to represent the seven billionth person:

On the Day of Seven Billion, the group Plan International symbolically marked the birth of the 7 billionth human with a ceremony in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh where a birth certificate was presented to a newly born baby girl, Nargis Kumar,[12] in order to protest sex-selective abortion in the state. The Indian girl to boy ratio for 0–6-year-olds is at 914 girls per 1000 boys nationwide, with Uttar Pradesh's one of the lowest at 889 girls for every thousand boys.[13]

Other babies selected include Danica May Camacho, born in the Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital, Manila, Philippines just before midnight on the eve of the Day of Seven Billion,[14] and Wattalage Muthumai, of Colombo, Sri Lanka.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ World Population Prospects, the 2010 Revision
  2. ^ World Population Prospects, the 2008 Revision Frequently Asked Questions Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat updated November 10, 2010. Retrieved January 26, 2011
  3. ^ "Day of 7 Billion". UNFPA. Retrieved October 16, 2011. 
  4. ^ "About 7 Billion Actions". 7 Billion Actions. Retrieved October 16, 2011. 
  5. ^ "And Baby Makes Five Billion:U.N. Hails a Yugoslav Infant". New York Times. July 12, 1987. Retrieved October 16, 2011. 
  6. ^ Lederer, Edith (October 12, 1999). "World Population hits 6 Billion". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 16, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b Cosmic Log – 7 billion people? How do they know?
  8. ^ How do we know that the world population reaches 7 billion on October 31, 2011?
  9. ^ "World Population Clock". 
  10. ^ Brunner, Borgna. "Population hits Six Billion". infoplease.com. Retrieved October 16, 2011. 
  11. ^ The Uncertain Timing of Reaching 7 Billion and Peak Population
  12. ^ "India welcomes 'world's seven billionth baby'". BBC News. October 31, 2011. Retrieved October 31, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Baby 7 Billion: Countdown begins for a girl in India". Reuters NewsAlert. October 14, 2011. Retrieved October 16, 2011. 
  14. ^ Coleman, Jasmine (2011-10-31). "World's 'seven billionth baby' is born". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-10-31. 
  15. ^ "Seven billionth child born in SL | Caption Story". Dailymirror.lk. 2011-10-31. Retrieved 2012-10-05. 

External links[edit]