Headline RoundupNovember 16th, 2022

World Population Surpasses 8 Billion People, UN Says

AllSides Summary

Earth’s human population reached 8 billion on November 15, according to a UN report. What does this mean for the future of our species?

By the Numbers: There were about 2.5 billion people alive in 1950, according to UN data — more than at any prior time in history. The population doubled to 5 billion by 1987, reaching 6 billion in 1999 and 7 billion in 2011. The UN projects that we will reach 9 billion people by 2037. 

For Context: Global population growth is not evenly distributed. While developed countries’ fertility rates are often too low to replace current populations, rates in developing countries are still high; some countries see over six births per woman of childbearing age. This trend helped create a swell of young migrant workers seeking new lives in developed countries like the U.S. According to the UN, 90% of future growth will come from low-income and lower-middle-income countries. 

How the Media Covered It: Coverage was widespread across the spectrum, but analyses of potential environmental “challenges” were more common in left-rated outlets. A Washington Post (Lean Left bias) analysis stood out by noting that “two-thirds of mammals, fish, reptiles and amphibians have been lost in the past approximately 50 years.” Meanwhile, a Daily Wire (Right bias) article dismissed the concerns of “climate activists,” arguing that population growth produced “robust innovation and productive capacity” benefits.

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