We Hit 8 Billion, When Is 9?



Image courtesy of Canva.com

Kat Halepaska, Design Editor

On Nov. 15, the world’s population hit 8 billion after growing from 7 billion in a period of 12 years. The United Nations estimates that in 2037 the world would hit 9 billion, indicating a slowing of global population growth.

Generation Z, Western Society’s generation of people born from 1997 to 2012, doesn’t seem to value family life as much as older generations. A survey by Junior Achievement revealed that Generation Z surveyors responded that financially, 75% want to graduate from college, 50% want financial independence from parents and create a savings plan, 37% to afford international travel, and 30% to start a business.

“Before there was a big push to have kids, have a good family, have a good wife, work a nine to five, support your family. I don’t think that’s going to be as big, I feel like people are going to focus on themselves and not bring kids into this world,” Sean O’Donnell (‘23) said.

Based on a State of Motherhood survey, working a job and taking care of their kids left mothers mentally drained. 62% of women surveyed said that by working a job they were “one and done.”

Especially after the pandemic, the stress of working from home and taking care of their kids due to there being no school and no daycare, mothers were feeling more and more stressed. Moms currently are 13% less likely to want kids compared to moms in 2020.

Because we are in an industrialized nation, women, or people who can have children, are more in the working force and they’re having less children at the same time.

— Nya Davis ('23)

“We’re faced with more choices […] A lot of industrial countries are decreasing population due to the fact that women are more empowered. When that happens, families oftentimes choose to have fewer kids,” AP Environmental Science teacher Konrad Heller said.

There is a mix of countries that have an increase and decrease of growth from 2022 going into 2023, which helps to balance out the world’s population, as shown by The World Bank. The East Asia and Pacific grew from 5.1% to 5.2%, Europe and Central Asia 3.0% to 2.9%, Latin America and the Caribbean 2.6% to 2.7%, Middle East and North Africa 4.4% to 3.4%, South Asia 7.6% to 6.0%, and Sub-Saharan Africa 7.6% in 2022 before slowing to 6.0%.

“It’s not [the population] decreasing, it’s slower growth. So the developing nations that are still pushing growth, population growth, they’re not at the point yet where industrialization and healthcare are available, ” Mr. Heller said.

Increasingly equal rights among women and industrialization is Mr. Heller’s takeaway for the reasoning behind the decline of population growth.

Many young adults still want to have kids and start families, but they will not put their life goals and dreams in jeopardy.

“Some point I want to have a family, but I would live out my dreams before having a family,” Grace Murray (‘23) said.

Sean O’Donnell was adamant about pursuing his career before having kids if any at all. 

“I’ve gone through the process of going into the Air Force. So I just picked out all my jobs that I could get. So hopefully, I’m going to get a good job with what I want, and hopefully I’m going to stay in for a bunch of years and love what I do.” Sean O’Donnell (‘23) stated.

“Even if you have a family, you shouldn’t leave your dreams behind. Like, it’s difficult, but I feel like you should still try to think about yourself and do things that you’re passionate about,” Nya Davis (‘23) said.