Babies at opposite ends of the world have been vying for the title of the world’s 7-billionth person, until the United Nations decided that the “prize” should go to a newborn girl from Philippines.
Danica May Camacho came into the world at two minutes before midnight, and thus was officially the first newborn on Monday.
The baby, born into a struggling Manila family, was welcomed to the world with a chocolate cake marked “7B Philippines” and a gift certificate for free shoes.
The title is more symbolic than demographic, though: UN officials say that millions of births around the world each day made it impossible to say for sure which of the babies is the globe’s 7-billionth resident.
A range of festivities are taking place around the world as the “7-billionth babies” are being born. Each of them receives a special UN certificate and memorable gifts from local authorities.
In Russia, there are three of them – one coming from Russia’s European enclave of Kaliningrad, another in the Far East, and a third in St. Petersburg.
According to demographic statistics, the world first reached 1 billion people in 1804, while 2 billion was not reached until 1927. The 20th century saw the population hit 3 billion in 1959, 4 billion in 1974, 5 billion in 1987 and 6 billion in 1998.
The UN estimates that the world’s population will reach 8 billion by 2025 and 10 billion by 2083. The numbers could vary, though, depending on everything from life expectancy to access to birth control to infant mortality rates.