According to the
World Population Clock, there are 7,327,599,308 people packed onto the planet at the time of writing this article. This figure is growing at at a dizzying rate – around 1.14% annually, which means there are about 80 million more mouths to feed every year.
The world's population doubled in the 40 years from 1959 (three billion) to 1999 (six billion). Although the growth rate is slowing, by 2050, the population may reach between 8.3 and 10.9 billion. China is the world's most populous country with more than 1.4 billion inhabitants, but India is catching up and is expected to overtake China by 2030.
To raise awareness of the planet's soaring birth rate, the United Nations has designated 11 July as
World Population Day. IBTimesUK presents this gallery of overcrowding and huge gatherings around the globe to mark World Population Day 2015. Visitors pack into an artificial wave pool at a resort to escape the summer heat in Daying county in Sichuan province, China on 27 July 2013 China Daily/Reuters Hindu pilgrims make their way over pontoon bridges near Sangam during the Maha Kumbh Mela in Allahabad, India on 9 February 2013 Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images An overcrowded train leaves a platform in Tongi near Bangladesh's capital Dhaka on 29 December 2003, as pilgrims flock to the annual Ijtema Muslim gathering Rafiquar Rahman/Reuters People crowd onto a bridge that they believe can help them escape tribulations and illnesses during the annual Caiqiaohui event in Mianyang, Sichuan province, China on 18 March 2014 Reuters Devotees try to touch the religious icon of the Black Nazarene during the annual procession in Manila on 9 January 2015 attended by over 5 million people Ted Aljibe/AFP Shi'ite Muslims gather at the shrine of Imam Hussein during Ashura commemorations in Karbala, Iraq on 4 November 2014 when an estimated 20 million people visited the holy site Mohammed Sawaf/AFP Muslim pilgrims pray at the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca on 10 October 2013 during the annual Hajj pilgrimage Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters Passengers crowd into a departure hall at a railway station in Wuhan, Hubei province, China on 15 January 2009 during the annual new year mass migration Reuters A passenger uses a window to board a crowded train at a railway station in Hefei, Anhui province during China's lunar new year travel peak season on 19 January 2008 Jianan Yu/Reuters Commuters wait for a train at a subway station in Sao Paulo, Brazil on 28 May 2013 Nacho Doce/Reuters Station workers push a passenger into a crowded subway train at the Ikebukuro station on the Marunouchi line during rush hour in Tokyo on 26 January 2007 Kim Kyung Hoon/Reuters Residential buildings in Po Lam, one of Hong Kong's satellite towns that houses 25% of the world's 100 tallest residential buildings, on 14 September 2011 Bobby Yip/Reuters Laundry hangs outside a student dormitory at a college in Wuhan, Hubei province on 5 March 2009 Reuters Scooters and motorcycles fill the offramp at a junction during rush hour in Taipei, Taiwan on 29 October 2009 Nicky Loh/Reuters Applicants walk into the entrance of a university to take part in the entrance exam for postgraduate studies in Wuhan, Hubei province on 10 January 2009 Reuters Yellow taxis line up on a ramp in Chongqing municipality on 17 November 2009 Reuters Buses and commuters cross the diagonal crossing at Oxford Circus in London on 2 November 2009 Stefan Wermuth/Reuters San Lorenzo fans use their hands to block out the sun during their Argentine First Division match against Estudiantes in Buenos Aires on 1 December 2013 Marcos Brindicci/Reuters The colourful lights of the fairground illuminate the sunset on the opening day of Oktoberfest, which attracts 6 million people, in Munich on 20 September 2014 Joerg Koch/Getty Images High-rise residential buildings are seen behind a slum in Mumbai on 20 July 2010 Danish Siddiqui/Reuters Thousands of internally displaced people queue for supplies at Kibati camp near Goma in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on 10 December 2008 Peter Andrews/Reuters Passengers travel in and on an overcrowded train in the eastern Indian city of Patna on 23 February 2010 Krishna Murari Kishan/Reuters