8 Billion People, Visualized

As of November 15th, the Earth reached the population milestone of 8 billion people. With this gargantuan population of people, researchers wanted to analyze what this number means as a whole for the present and the future. To begin, consider how the world’s 8 billion people are distributed throughout the world’s most populous countries.

Starting with the Americas, the United States leads North America in population growth with a count of 338 million. In South America, Brazil leads with a population of 215 million people. Russia leads in Europe with 145 million; in Asia, China leads with 1.4 billion people. In Africa, Nigeria takes the lead with a population of 219 people. Lastly, Oceania’s largest population lies in Indonesia with 280 million. Given the collected data on population growth, this means the global population growth rate of 0.83% a year. 

While the world’s population is increasing, not all countries are expanding at that rate. It doesn’t even indicate that growth is even happening.  However, this is because the global life expectancy has grown from 29 years to 73 years since 1800. Therefore, with an increase in life expectancy, it is common to see the fertility rate decrease. When looking at the world’s fertility rate, we can see the countries with the highest rate of population change in Nigeria and Pakistan clocking in at around a 2% increase. With Russia and China being the lowest with 0%. Nigeria and Pakistan again lead in fertility rate at 5.14 children per woman(Nigeria) and 3.14 children per woman(Pakistan).

Thus we can conclude that there is a prominent connection between a country’s overall health, its life expectancy, and its fertility rate. The healthier a country, the longer its life expectancy tends to be. With that being said, the top 5 healthiest countries(as of 2022)are Spain, Italy, Iceland, Japan, and Switzerland. Inversely, the 5 unhealthiest countries to date are Sierra Leone, Somalia, Chad, Central African Republic, and South Sudan. It should be known that when looking at these healthy and unhealthy countries it is with a purely analytical viewpoint. There are a lot of factors both controllable and uncontrollable that contribute to a country’s health. For countries that are doing well health-wise, the rest of the world can learn from their decisions and adapt their own. 

On the commercial side, having an aging population increases overall productivity. Longer lives tend to lead to an increase in overall capital. Also, with companies growing larger, they are major contributors to global output. As of 2022, multinational corporations(MNCs) and their affiliates have contributed 36% of global output. Lastly, much of the GDP has been shifting toward sub-Saharan Africa. If it continues, Africa will outpace Europe and the Americas between the years 2020 and 2060. However, it’s important to address some concerns with 2022. Global GDP growth has slowed meaning the current population is projected to push the global GDP by just 9.6%, Moreover, we may see some potential labor shortages with surpluses becoming shortfalls by 2030 risking upwards of $10 billion.

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