© 2023 WRVO Public Media
Your Source for NPR News
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

7 Billion People? Yes, Give Or Take 56 Million

As NPR and just about every other news outlet report about the milestone that United Nations experts estimate the world passed today — a population of 7 billion people — there's this from the BBC:

"The U.N. recognises that its own figures come with a 1 to 2 percent margin of error. Today's population could actually be 56 million higher or lower than 7 billion," according to U.N. population estimates expert Gerhard Heilig.

"There is a window of uncertainty of at least six months before and six months after the 31 October for the world population to reach 7 billion," he added.

Still, if it hasn't happened yet it looks like it will pretty soon. And as we reported Friday, there's also been work done on who is the world's "most typical person."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.