- The world population was due to hit 8 billion for the first time on November 15, 2022.
- That's in spite of the global population growing more slowly in recent years.
- The number should be seen as a positive rather than a burden, UN officials said
The world's eighth billionth baby was due to be born on Tuesday November 15, according to the United Nations.
"The milestone is an occasion to celebrate diversity and advancements while considering humanity's shared responsibility for the planet," UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a statement, per France24.
That means a billion people have been added to the world population in the past 12 years, CNN reported.
The world's population is due to grow further: hitting 9 billion around 2037 and 10 billion around 2058, the UN predicted in a statement.
The new milestone happened in spite of global population growth slowing down overall, to under 1% a year, per CNN.
The population is growing fastest in poorer countries, which is putting pressure on "already entrenched inequalities," Gutteres said in a statement.
In spite of serious concerns about climate change, poverty, and overcrowding, the number of humans living on the planet today "is not a cause for fear," said Natalia Kanem, head of the UN Population Fund, per France 24.
"It's a sign of success, people everywhere live longer, healthier lives," she said in a tweet.
"Focussing on numbers obscures real issues. Like how wealthier people, a global minority, generate almost all greenhouse emissions, and how the solution to climate change is not fewer people, but fewer emissions," she said.