The World's seven billionth baby is born for sure, says the United Nations Population Fund. But where? The UNFPA says it has no clue.

The media has been filled with stories of where the baby was born: and most of these stories speak of a child being born in Dhanaur village in the outskirts of Lucknow, in the most populous state in India, Uttar Pradesh. A few from the UK media too have parroted this line.

Down south, in Sri Lanka, the country celebrated the arrival of Wattalage Muthumani, who was born at the Castel Street Maternity Hospital, as the seventh billion. The UNDP's country boss, Sri Lanka's First Lady and many more congratulated the mother for giving birth to the seventh billionth child.

U.K.'s Daily Mail reported that the seventh billionth baby was born in The Philippines. “Tiny and innocent, little Danica May Camacho peers out at the world just moments after her birth at a hospital in the Philippines. Wearing a hat to keep the heat from escaping through her head, she nestles against her mother's skin as her proud parents look on,” it said.

There are many more countries which claim that the seventh billionth baby was born in their country. Which of this is true?

“We do not know. We do not endorse any of these,” Said Omar Gharzeddine

Media Officer, UNFPA, New York, over the telephone, when asked which of the babies was actually propelled the population to the seven billion mark. “But the important thing is that we are celebrating every birth as long as the mother and the child are safe. Countries are free to celebrate their own sevem billionth child,” he added.

When asked about the origins of the hype in India and in a section of the international media about the seventh billionth baby being born near Lucknow, he said: “I don't know. You have to ask them [the media],” he said

Since 1968, world's population has doubled. It surpassed 7 billion on October 31. Despite major declines in the average number of children per women, population growth is projected to continue at least until the middle of the 21st century, UNFPA said in its website.


Cheers, fears across world October 31, 2011

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