Friday 24 November 2017

Hamish McRae: Seven billion -- and the world's population just keeps on rising

Hamish McRae

SEVEN billion. Next week the world's population will, according to the UN, reach seven billion and a baby born somewhere in the world will be designated the seven-billionth baby -- just as Adnan Nevic, now a healthy 11-year-old living in Bosnia, became the six-billionth when he was born just after midnight on October 11, 1999.

There is, of course, a spurious precision about this. We may have passed seven billion already -- there are some suggestions we got there three months ago -- or if the US Census Bureau is right, it will not happen until next March. But the detail does not matter.

What matters is that we are adding more than the population of Britain to the world every year and while the rate of growth is slowing somewhat, it seems likely that eight billion will be reached sometime in the 2020s.

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