Many organizations publish population growth forecasts for 237 countries or areas based on birth and death rate, fertility rate and many other key demographic indicators.
These projections are revised from time to time, based on updated information and improved modeling techniques.
The world population reached 8 billion inhabitants in November 2022 although vital statistics or survey statistics are not yet available for the year 2022 (1 billion more inhabitants for 12 years).
Simulations predict a sharp drop in the world's population, but no organization knows when or how this will happen.
However, humanity is still using more and more natural resources and the pace is not slowing down. The pressure on the Earth system (environment, biodiversity, ecosystems, water and other resources) has become unsustainable.
A decline in fertility is underway in all countries and in particular in developing countries. The world population is expected to stabilize in 2050.
Can we wait another few decades?
The number of inhabitants on the planet is the result of an immense and rapid progress made by man during the last two centuries.
In 1800 there were one billion people on Earth, since then the world population has increased eightfold.
All the energies (solar, wind, fossil, nuclear, hydraulic, wood and coal, etc.) developed since then have continued to add up without replacing each other. The amount of energy needed by humanity is constantly increasing.
At this rate, in 2050 humanity will consume 40 terawatts of additional energy, which will require ≈ 40 000 more power plants.
The world population is still growing too rapidly, raising fears of overpopulation. However, the birth rate in the world continues to fall (2.5 in 2011, 2.3 in 2022). Demographers' projections point to continued growth for a few more decades, but at a decelerating rate from year to year.
The world population is expected to increase by another 2 billion people before reaching a peak.
World population estimated in real time :
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Image: Gilles Pison, Population & Societies, N°604, INED, October 2022. Data source: United Nations. World Population Prospects 2022 nota: the bar of 6 billion inhabitants was crossed in 1999, the bar of 7 billion was crossed in 2011 and the bar of 8 billion in 2022.
Details of the data on the INED website