November marked the world reaching its largest milestone, a population of 8 billion people. It’s been a long time coming, but how did this happen? Are all countries slowly expanding in size, or are some doing the majority of the work? It seems the answer is actually fairly complex, as some countries expand faster but still hold smaller populations.
Nigeria, for example, has a population of 219 million and is expanding at a rate of 2.4%, the highest globally. An impressive growth rate and an impressive population. China, on the other hand, has the highest population globally at 1.42 billion people. China isn’t growing or shrinking though, generally holding their growth rate at a flat zero.
This means its actually countries like Nigeria, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Mexico that are doing the brunt of the work. Although India is another titan with a population of 1.41 billion that is also growing at a rate of 0.7%. The world is growing, but not everywhere, not even necessarily in the most populated areas.
So where are the growing populations coming from? Everywhere. The faster a country is developing the more it’ll add to population growth. The more established a country is, the less it will add to the population. This is a trend that countries like China have bucked through their tight control on childbearing and fertility. The world isn’t going to stop expanding anytime soon, so it’s important to understand where and how that is happening.