The world’s population reached 7 billion today. The population as a whole is aging, particularly in developed areas in which people are living longer and the fertility rates are lower. However, the number of births continues to increase in developing countries. There are 158 more births than deaths each day in the world, but 154 of these births occur in developing countries.
Women throughout the world have on average 2.5 children in their lifetimes, but in the poorest countries this rate is closer to 4.5. Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest fertility rate, with an average of 5.2 children born to each woman. Carol Haub, a senior demographer for the Population Reference Bureau stated, “The world added the sixth billion and the seventh billion in a record 12 years for each. The eighth billion may also take about 12 years, but only if birth rates in all developing countries follow projections that assume a smooth decline to two children or fewer.”
Nearly 215 million women in the developing nations want access to modern contraception but lack access. More than 1 billion people in the world live on less than a dollar a day and do not have access to safe drinking water. According to the United Nation’s World Food Program, “Hunger is the #1 world’s risk – it kills more people every year than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined.” A Population Action International report states that most governments in developing countries are unprepared to meet the demands of the growing population.