Today is World Population Day, observed on July 11th every year. The intent is to raise awareness of global population issues. It was established by the United Nations and inspired by the date in 1987 that the world population reached five billion people.

It took the entire history of mankind to reach 5 billion people – thousands and thousands of years. We’re adding about a billion people every 12 years.

We stand at more than 7 billion right now. The good news is that the rate of population growth is declining, but still we’ll reach 8 billion by the year 2024.

China leads the world in population with 1.3 billion people, followed closely behind by India with 1.2 billion. Think of it this way – nearly one third of the population of the entire world is either Chinese or Indian. With 316 million the United States stands third on the list. We trail China in population by about a billion people.

Among countries with at least a million people, the island nation of Singapore is the most densely populated country in the world. With a land area less than one fifth the size of Erie County, Singapore is home to 5.3 million people.

The US Census bureau has a website in which you can watch the population of the country and world increase as it happens.