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World Population Day

In 1989, the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme recommended that 11th July be observed by the international community as World Population Day, a day to focus attention on the urgency and importance of  population issues.

Current estimates indicate that roughly 83 million people are being added to the world’s population every year. Even assuming that fertility levels will continue to decline, the global population is expected to reach 8.6 billion in 2030, 9.8 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion in 2100, according to the medium-variant projection.

Why World Population Day is celebrated

The aim of the celebration is to pay great attention towards the reproductive health problems of the community people as it is the leading cause of the ill health as well as the death of the pregnant women worldwide. The campaign of the World Population Day every year increases the knowledge and skills of the people worldwide towards their reproductive health and family planning.

Through this great awareness celebration, people are encouraged to take part in the event to know about population issues like importance of family planning towards the increasing population, gender equality, maternal and baby health, poverty, human rights, right to health, sexuality education, use of contraceptives and safety measures like condoms, reproductive health, adolescent pregnancy, girl child education, child marriage, sexually transmitted infections, etc.

Sexuality related issues are very necessary to solve among youth, especially those between 15 to 19 years of age. Access to safe, voluntary family planning is a human right. It is also central to gender equality and women’s empowerment, and is a key factor in reducing poverty. Investments in making family planning available also yields economic and other gains that can propel development forward.

Theme for 2021

This year's World Population Day theme is Rights and choices are the answer: Whether baby boom or bust, the solution to shifting fertility rates lies in prioritizing the reproductive health and rights of all people.

In this second year of COVID-19, we are suspended in an in-between state, where parts of the world are emerging from the deep recesses of the pandemic while others are locked in battle with the coronavirus as access to vaccines remains a distant, deadly reality. 

The pandemic has compromised health care systems particularly in the area of sexual and reproductive health. It also exposed and exacerbated gender-based inequities: gender-based violence increased under lockdown, as did the risk of child marriage and female genital mutilation as programmes to abolish the harmful practices were disrupted. Significant numbers of women left the labour force – their often low-paying jobs were eliminated or caregiving responsibilities for children learning remotely or for homebound older people increased – destabilizing their finances, not just for now but in the long run. 

Against this backdrop, many countries are expressing growing concern over changing fertility rates. Historically, alarmism over fertility rates has led to abrogations of human rights.

World Population Trends

It took hundreds of thousands of years for the world population to grow to 1 billion – then in just another 200 years or so, it grew sevenfold. In 2011, the global population reached the 7 billion mark, and today, it stands at about 7.7 billion, and it's expected to grow to around 8.5 billion in 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050, and 10.9 billion in 2100.

This dramatic growth has been driven largely by increasing numbers of people surviving to reproductive age, and has been accompanied by major changes in fertility rates, increasing urbanization and accelerating migration. These trends will have far-reaching implications for generations to come.

The recent past has seen enormous changes in fertility rates and life expectancy. In the early 1970s, women had on average 4.5 children each; by 2015, total fertility for the world had fallen to below 2.5 children per woman. Meanwhile, average global lifespans have risen, from 64.6 years in the early 1990s to  72.6 years in 2019.

In addition, the world is seeing high levels of urbanization and accelerating migration. 2007 was the first year in which more people lived in urban areas than in rural areas, and by 2050 about 66 per cent of the world population will be living in cities.

These megatrends have far-reaching implications. They affect economic development, employment, income distribution, poverty and social protections. They also affect efforts to ensure universal access to health care, education, housing, sanitation, water, food and energy. To more sustainably address the needs of individuals, policymakers must understand how many people are living on the planet, where they are, how old they are, and how many people will come after them.

Objective of celebrations

Some of the objectives of celebrating the world population day are

  • It is celebrated to protect and empower youths of both gender like girls and boys.
  • To offer them detail knowledge about the sexuality and delay marriages till they become able to understand their responsibilities.
  • Educate youths to avoid unwanted pregnancies by using reasonable and youth friendly measures.
  • Educate people to remove the gender stereotypes from society.
  • Educate them about the pregnancy related illnesses to raise the public awareness about dangers of early childbirth.
  • Educate them about STD (sexually transmitted diseases) to get prevented from various infections.
  • Make sure about the access of equal primary education to both girls and boys.
  • Make sure the easy access of reproductive health services everywhere as part the basic primary health for each couple.

Sources :

  1. http://www.un.org/en/events/populationday/
  2. http://www.unfpa.org/events/world-population-day
  3. Family Planning: A Right and a Choice
  4. State of World Population 2021


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