Topic » 7 Billion

In late 2011, the world's population is estimated to reach 7 billion. Demographers project a range of possibilities for future population growth, with the most commonly cited figure being a world population of 9 billion by 2043.

The 9 billion number assumes a dramatic decline in fertility rates across the world, converging to 2.1 children per woman. This is unlikely unless we respond to the 222 million women around the world who want to prevent pregnancy but need contraception. In nations such as Yemen, Afghanistan, and much of sub-Saharan Africa, women continue to have an average of more than 5 children.

Nearly half the world'ss population—some 3 billion people—is under the age of 25 and entering their childbearing years. Their childbearing choices, and the information and services available to them, will determine whether human numbers climb to anywhere from 8 billion to 11 billion by mid-century.

A common argument is that the earth cannot sustain 7 billion people. PAI believes the issue is not the total number, but how much they consume and where they are concentrated. The average person in the United States, for example consumes almost fifty times more energy than a person in Ghana. And the vast majority of greenhouse gasses have come from the developed world. If the problem is overconsumption, the international policy focus should be on developed nations's consumption, not African fertility rates.



Numbers Matter, But People Count

October 27, 2011

If you haven’t heard by now, the world is adding its seven billionth person on Oct. 31, 2011.

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Press Release

World Population Hits 7 Billion

October 20, 2011

POPULATION ACTION INTERNATIONAL MEDIA ADVISORY For October 31, 2011 World Population Hits 7 Billion Population Action International announces the interactive application What’s Your Numberand Oct. 31 release of Why Population Matters (Washington, D.C.) On Monday, October 31st, the world will add its 7 … Continue reading »


The Faces of Seven Billion

September 22, 2011

I just had my annual exam. Yes, that annual exam, ladies. Aside from the normal things you would discuss with your midwife — how’s the IUD treating you? how’s your 15-month-old? — we also talked shop.

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Sarada’s Story – Weathering Change

September 22, 2011

Consequences of climate change—floods, droughts, extreme weather, declining agricultural production—affect everyone. But in many developing countries, shifting temperature and precipitation patterns are making life especially hard for women and families. A new documentary, Weathering Change, tells the stories of women around the … Continue reading »


Weathering Change Trailer

September 21, 2011

Weathering Change follows women in Ethiopia, Nepal and Peru as they struggle to care for their families while enduring crop failure and water scarcity. The film explores how family planning can help women adapt to environmental challenges to their health and livelihood. Continue reading »


Population: 7 Billion

August 7, 2011

Population: 7 Billion from Population Action International on Vimeo. As the world population hits the 7 Billion mark in October, there are a lot of questions that have arisen about the subject. Are we ready? What will happen next? Is … Continue reading »

Policy Brief

7 Billion and Counting

July 11, 2011

The world’s population will reach 7 billion people on Oct. 31, 2011, and according to United Nations projections, we are on pace to add 3 billion or more by the end of this century. Already, millions of women in developing … Continue reading »


Press Release

Statement on the new U.N. population projections from Suzanne Ehlers, President, Population Action International

May 3, 2011

Suzanne Ehlers For Immediate Release “The United Nations announced today that the world’s population will reach 7 billion people on Oct. 31, 2011, and will likely hit 9 billion by 2050. The new projections are a wake-up call for governments to fulfill … Continue reading »