Census Bureau Announces a World Population Milestone

Estimates it has now hit 8B
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 29, 2023 12:00 AM CST
World Population Tops 8B: Census Bureau
Crowds gather for the Surfing Santa event Christmas Eve morning in Cocoa Beach Fla., on Sunday, Dec. 24, 2023.   (Malcolm Denemark/Florida Today via AP)

The world population grew by 75 million people over the past year and on New Year's Day it will stand at more than 8 billion people, according to figures released by the US Census Bureau on Thursday. The bureau estimates the population passed the 8 billion mark on September 26, but it notes "there are many sources of uncertainty in estimating the global population" and points out that the United Nations Population Division estimates that number was reached on November 15, 2022. According to the census bureau's estimations, it took 12 and a half years for the population to go from 7 billion to 8 billion, but it estimates it will take more than 14 years for it to hit 9 billion due to slowing population growth since the rate peaked in the 1960s. More from the report, per the AP:

  • The worldwide growth rate in the past year was just under 1%. At the start of 2024, 4.3 births and two deaths are expected worldwide every second, according to the Census Bureau figures. The growth rate for the United States in the past year was 0.53%, about half the worldwide figure. The US added 1.7 million people and will have a population on New Year's Day of 335.8 million people.

  • If the current pace continues through the end of the decade, the 2020s could be the slowest-growing decade in US history, yielding a growth rate of less than 4% over the 10-year-period from 2020 to 2030, said William Frey, a demographer at The Brookings Institution. The slowest-growing decade currently was in the aftermath of the Great Depression in the 1930s, when the growth rate was 7.3%.

  • At the start of 2024, the United States is expected to experience one birth every nine seconds and one death every 9.5 seconds. However, immigration will keep the population from dropping. Net international migration is expected to add one person to the US population every 28.3 seconds. This combination of births, deaths and net international migration will increase the US population by one person every 24.2 seconds.
(More population stories.)

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