Things That Matter

Dominican Newborn Was Crowned the Eighth Billionth Person on the Planet

A baby boy named Damian who was born in the Dominican Republic has been crowned as the eight billionth person on Earth after he was born at a hospital in Santo Domingo on Tuesday, November 15. Although this designation is more symbolic than scientific, Damian’s birth does represent a major milestone in the history of mankind.

Damian was born at Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia, a maternity hospital in Santo Domingo, where he was given a custom t-shirt officially labeling him as the eigth billionth person on Earth which reads, “Bebé 8000 millones” with a hashtag underneath it that says, “#8MilMillonesMasFuerte,” or, “Eight Billion Stronger.”

Although other babies in different hospitals around the world were most likely given the same designation on the same day, Damian’s picture has gotten the most visibility online, making him the de facto winner of this once-in-a-lifetime event. Upon his birth, Damian weighed just less than 6 pounds and measured 52 centimeters long.

The ever-growing population of Earth is now being catalogued by something called the Worldometer, an online tracking tool that gives everything from birth and death stats to the daily number of tweets posted, blog posts published, and emails sent. Again, while it is most likely an estimation, it’s interesting to see just how much life is being lived in every corner of the planet.

Of course, Damian is not the only baby to be designated as the world’s eight billionth person. In the Phillippines, a baby named Vinice Mabansag was also named the world’s eight billionth person after she was born in Manila on November 15.

Of course, the birth of the eight billionth person on Earth has raised questions from those who are afraid of the risks of overpopulation. However, as they have had to on numerous occasions, experts are certain that there’s plenty to go around.

In an interview with Newstalk Breakfast, a professor of Geography at Trinity College named Padraig Carmody said, “We have enough resources,” adding, “It’s a question of distribution. So, we actually have the resources to be able to feed everyone for example.”

Carmody also believes that population growth will actually slow down in the years to come, especially as there are larger populations in metropolitan areas.

“As people have moved into cities, children move from being a kind of economic benefit if you like – being able to work in the fields, taking care of you in your old age if you don’t have social security – to being a cost,” he said. “People are living in smaller spaces in cities, it’s expensive to have children.”

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