The United Nations is celebrating a major milestone today, ceremonially marking it as the day our global population reaches seven billion.
While there is no way to know exactly who the seven billionth person on Earth really is, the UN has identified her as Danica Mae Camacho, born 2 minutes before midnight on Sunday in the Philippines. Time reports she was given a special cake and a “gift certificate for free shoes” among other goodies.
The United Nations and many non-profit organizations around the world are publicizing this day to raise awareness of how the world’s rapid population growth will affect access to resources like clean water and food.
In an interview with Reuters, demographics expert Dudley Poston said that the population growth is actually slowing slightly, explaining, “… while it took 12 years to reach Monday’s seven billion mark from six billion, it will take 14 years to reach eight billion — the first time in history a billion milestone has taken longer to reach than the one before — and then 18 years to reach nine billion.”
If you’d like to know where you fit in to the worldwide population, check out the “find your number in the world” feature at BBC.com by entering in your own birthdate. I was apparently the 3,653,832,436th.