World population crossed a new mark. What makes this world? Eight facts about eight million people.
The most important thing at a glance
Every child is special. But one who is or will be born on this day is even more so. Today the number of people worldwide exceeds the record figure of eight billion people, at least in theory: because it is not always possible to know who is born and who dies and when, the UN has set the deadline for November 15.
And there will be more people – even if global population growth has slowed in recent decades. According to a United Nations report, the world could have 10.4 billion people by 2080.
Most people live in Asia (about 60 percent), about a fifth in Africa, and about ten percent in Europe. Eight percent of the world’s population lives in Latin America and about five percent in North America. What does that mean? t-online has compiled eight facts about the world of eight billion people.
1. Most people work here
In a world of about eight billion, it is estimated that there were about three billion workers that year. Company that employs the most people: US shopping giant Walmart. Around 2.3 million people worked at the retailer in the 2020/21 financial year, which sells everything from prawns and toilet paper to game consoles and shoe racks to car tyres. Most of these are based in the US, but many also operate in the UK, Mexico and China.
They are followed some distance by online mail order companies the amazon (about 1.3 million) and Chinese state oil companies China National Petroleum (about 1.2 million).
Basically, more than half of all employees worldwide are employed in the service sector – apart from wholesale or retail, for example, in gastronomy, in nursing, in communication or insurance companies. On the other hand, the number of people working in the industry has been steadily declining – recently it was about 23 percent of employees. A similar number of people are engaged in agriculture. For comparison: about 100 years ago, about 70 percent of people still toiled in the fields.
2. Most people live in cities
Humans have become city animals. As of 2007, more people live in cities than in rural areas. This is an impressive development: in 1950 not even a third lived in urban areas. By 2050, this ratio is likely to reverse.
The proportion of urban dwellers is the highest in North America: 82.6 percent of people live in urban areas. In Africa it is the lowest at 43.5 percent. And only a quarter of people in Europe live in rural areas (as of 2020).
Cities are growing rapidly, especially in developing countries: birth rates are high in many places, and more people are migrating from the countryside in search of work. This brings with it problems: authorities sometimes cannot keep up with the expansion of basic infrastructure such as water, electricity or roads.