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How to teach about the World Population

    The world’s population will pass the 8 billion mark in November 2022 and India is due to surpass China as the world’s most populous nation in 2023, five years earlier than previous estimations. How can teachers use these milestone events to teach their students?

    World population day is always on 11 July.

    Going past 8 billion, India to pass China  

    Teachers should always be alert to incorporate interesting news into our subjects and in this way educate learners on how to be attentive to what is happening in the world that we live in.

    So, the fact that the global population will reach 8 billion around 15 November 2022, and India will pass China’s population in 2023, opens a myriad (not really, how much is a myriad?) of opportunities to talk about related topics depending on the subject and level of the students.

    Especially teachers of English (both EFL and ESL, also online), math, history, and economics teachers can elaborate on the facts about the global population going past 8 billion and India surpassing China from the 2022 World Population Prospects of the United Nations released in July 2022.

    It took 123 years for the population to double from one to two billion in 1927. Going from seven to eight billion took only eleven years!  

    World Live Population

    The following website offers a live clock showing the growth of the world population by the second – births outnumbering deaths. It also provides information for the twenty biggest nations on the planet. They are:

    1. China                         1,450,752,836

    2. India                          1,408,292,900

    3. U.S.A.                         335,012,460

    4. Indonesia                    279,564,582

    5. Pakistan                       230,038,857

    6. Brazil                           215,689,883

    7. Nigeria                        217,175,689

    8. Bangladesh                 168,111,408

    9. Russia                          146,062,121

    10. Mexico                        131,761,581

    11. Japan                           125,692,885

    12. Ethiopia                       121,114,450

    13. Philippines                   112,646,851

    14. Egypt                          106,444,929

    15. Vietnam                      99,161,102

    16. D.R. Congo                 95,523,863

    17. Turkey                         86,235,367

    18. Iran                              86,250,056

    19. Germany                     84,333,983

    20. Thailand                      70,159,010

    The live World Population Counter – students will find it fascinating.
    Graph showing that China’s population growth has reached its zenith.
    The graph of India shows that India’s population, which has already started to slow, is expected to grow.

    Teaching about Big Numbers

    While on the issue of BIG numbers, the difference between a ‘British billion’ and the American billion that only became the norm in the late 1970s or early 1980s.

    Many other languages outside of English also use derivatives of the word “milliard” for the American billion. Millions of English speakers in Asia also use the very handy Hindi terms “lakh” (100,000) and “crore” (ten million; one hundred lakhs, especially of rupees).

    The following video teaches about the development of big number words: “When a hundred wasn’t 100.”  

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