The United Nation’s (U.N.) world population projections surpassed 8 billion people on Tuesday, just 11 years after it had passed 7 billion.
Historic medical discoveries and medicine have helped the population skyrocket since 1927 when it reached 2 billion.
However, the population growth rate is expected to slow, as birth rates have slowed in developed countries. The U.N. expects 15 years to pass before the world population reaches 9 billion. They expect it to pass 10 billion people by 2058.
The global population is expected to peak at around 10 billion in the 2080s and remain until around the year 2100.
“Slower population growth over many decades could help to mitigate the further accumulation of environmental damage in the second half of the current century,” the U.N. said.
The birth rate in the United States has fallen by 20% since 2007, and the World Economic Forum reported in July that China’s population will soon shrink for the first time in 60 years.
Other studies show that millennials are having fewer children than previous generations.
However, the U.N. said that about 70% of the population growth to 8 billion came from developing nations mostly in sub-Saharan Africa where women have less access to sexual and reproductive healthcare.
Meeting the needs of a larger population has further strained the infrastructure and resources in these countries.
Experts worry that rapid population growth has caused countries to consume resources at an unsustainable pace. The U.N. said this has contributed to climate change, deforestation and a loss of biodiversity.
Lower birth rates create generational gaps, which could lead to labor shortages and harm economic growth.