World Population to Reach 8 Billion People This Week, United Nations Projects

8 Billion Population
8 Billion Population

iStock/Getty Images

In a matter of hours, a baby born somewhere in the world will be the 8 billionth person on Earth.

The United Nations is projecting that the world's population will hit eight billion on Tuesday, and even has a countdown set up on its website to mark the occasion.

"The milestone is an occasion to celebrate diversity and advancements while considering humanity's shared responsibility for the planet," United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said in a statement on their website.

The UN attributed the "unprecedented growth" of the population to the increase of the human lifespan as a result of improvements in healthcare, medicine and nutrition as well as high levels of fertility in some countries.

RELATED: Grandfather of 10 Who Sold $2 Billion Powerball Ticket Gets $1 Million Prize: 'We Are Excited'

India is poised to replace China as the most populous country in 2023, the agency said.

It projects that eight countries will lead world population growth until 2050: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and the United Republic of Tanzania.

It also noted that global population growth is more centralized in some of the world's poorer countries, like those in sub-Saharan Africa, and it said countries that tend to have a higher income per capita, may not necessarily have a rapidly growing population.

RELATED: 'Invincible' 102-Year-Old Woman Who Lived Through Spanish Flu Survives Her Second Bout with COVID-19

"The relationship between population growth and sustainable development is complex and multidimensional," said Liu Zhenmin, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs. "Rapid population growth makes eradicating poverty, combating hunger and malnutrition, and increasing the coverage of health and education systems more difficult."

The agency said while it took 12 years to get from a population of seven billion to eight billion, it doesn't expect the population to hit nine billion until 2037.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free weekly newsletter to get the biggest news of the week delivered to your inbox every Friday.

It explained that global population growth fell under 1 percent in 2020 and is currently "growing at its slowest rate since 1950."

The Covid-19 pandemic also played a part in affecting life expectancy throughout the world, bringing down the average life expectancy from 72.8 years in 2019 down to 71 in 2021.