Population Connection Statement on World Population Reaching 8 Billion

Written by Marian Starkey, Vice President for Communications | Published: July 11, 2022


New population data from the United Nations published today reveals that we will reach a major milestone this November: becoming a world of eight billion.

The UN World Population Prospects 2022 show that we will likely reach 9.7 billion by mid-century and 10.4 billion by 2080. The report highlights that we could achieve substantially slower global population growth in the second half of this century, however, if we accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular regarding women’s empowerment.

Nearly all (96%) of the population growth since we reached seven billion people in 2010 has occurred in less developed countries, where it’s most difficult for governments and the natural world to provide for people at the levels needed for safe, healthy, secure lives. Indeed, the places with the highest fertility and population growth rates are also the places with the highest levels of poverty, malnutrition, preventable death, as well as the lowest levels of educational attainment, employment, and human development.

Population Connection President & CEO John Seager says:

“Rapid population growth exacerbates critical global challenges, making daily life and even survival for vulnerable people more precarious. Some of the fastest-growing countries are also the most water-scarce, climate vulnerable, and food insecure. Progress toward international sustainable development is currently being outrun by population growth—but we can help change that by ramping up our investment in international family planning programs.

The U.S. is a crucial funder of international family planning, but we are currently only investing around a third of our fair share of the $12.6 billion needed annually to address the unmet need for family planning in low- and middle-income countries.”

The UN projects that we will reach nine billion people in 2037. With improved access to contraceptive education and services, the year we hit the next population milestone could be delayed, giving us a bit of breathing room to achieve crucial international development and environmental protection goals. Universal access to voluntary contraception is a noble target in its own right—it’s also the solution to unsustainable global population growth.


Contact Marian Starkey: mstarkey@popconnect.org | 202-974-7735