Seven-Billionth Baby To Be Born On Oct 31

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UNITED NATIONS – The world’s 7 billionth person, who the UN says will be born on October 31, will join a population more aware than ever of the challenges of sustaining life on a crowded planet but no closer to a consensus about what to do about it.

Some demographers see turbulent times ahead: Nations grappling with rapid urbanization, environmental degradation and skyrocketing demand for healthcare, education, resources and jobs. Others feel a shrinking population, not overpopulation, could be the longer-term challenge as fertility rates drop.

“There are parts of the world where the population is shrinking and in those parts of the world, they are worried about productivity, about being able to maintain a critical mass of people,” Babatunde Osotimehin, executive director of the UN Population Fund, said. “Then there are parts of the world where the population is growing fast. ”

No one knows what circumstances the baby will be born into, but Uttar Pradesh, with a population that combines that of Britain, France and Germany, provides a snapshot of the challenges it could face. How do we know for sure that it will be born in UP? Well, India has the highest number of babies born every minute, at 51. So the probability of Baby 7 Billion being an Indian is highest. And UP alone has about 11 babies born every minute.

Pinky Pawar, 25, is due to give birth in UP at the end of the month and is hoping her firstborn will not join the estimated 3 billion people living on less than $2 a day. “I want my child to be successful in life,” she said sitting outside her mud and brick home in Sunhaida village. With the number of people on earth more than doubling over the last fifty years, resources are under more strain than ever before.Agencies