The global population will reach 7 billion this month; here are 7 things you didn't know

On October 31, the world's population will reach seven billion. Here are seven things you didn't know about the milestone, using data from the United Nations Population Fund.
Written by Andrew Nusca, Contributor

On October 31 of this year -- exactly one week from today -- the world's population will reach seven billion.

To commemorate (or perhaps caution against?) the event, the United Nations Population Fund unveiled a new public website called 7 Billion Actions that gives the UN, local governments, economists and NGOs access to data predicting population growth over time.

Instead of a spreadsheet, the public now has an interactive dashboard (it's in the "Data" section) that offers hard numbers on the impact that unchecked population growth could have on policy, education and healthcare, among other areas of interest.

Here are seven things to know about the milestone:

  1. It took humans until 1800 for the world's population to reach 1 billion. Now it only takes about 13 years to add another billion people -- and every year, even though fertility is declining, our population increases by about 80 million people.
  2. 215 million women would like to avoid or delay childbearing, but have no access to contraceptives. A thousand women die giving birth every day.
  3. Worldwide, women are having about half as many children as they did 50 years ago. Since 1950, the average size of a family declined from 6.0 to 2.5 people.
  4. In 1950, 1 in 5 children died before the age of 5. Today, 93 percent survive.
  5. By 2025, India is expected to have more people than China. About 3 billion people alone live in the emerging economies of China, India, Brazil and Indonesia.
  6. Young people make up 43 percent of the world's population; in the least developed countries, they represent 60 percent of the population.
  7. The rate of growth of people age 60 or older is growing at twice the rate of the rest of the world's population. By 2040, nearly 1 in 4 people will be over age 60.

The dashboards are powered by technology from business analytics firm SAP.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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