World Population Day was established in 1989 by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme — UNDP. World Population Day is celebrated every year on July 11 in order to focus on the importance of population issues. The day was established by the United Nations as a result of the massive interest people had in Five Billion Day in 1987. Five Billion Day, in 1987, was meant to acknowledge the date on which the world’s population reached an estimated five billion people, which supposedly happened on July 11 of that year (hence the annual date for World Population Day). And look how much the population has increased since then! Population issues cover a lot of territories, from family planning, gender equality, and environmental impacts to human rights concerns.
World Population Day serves to highlight the growing problems that come with a growing global population. Overpopulation is a crucial issue, especially considering that world resources are depleting at an unsustainable rate. Awareness about the effects of overpopulation on development and nature is emphasized. The increasing population also sheds light on health problems faced by women during pregnancy and childbirth, making the need for family planning, gender equality, and maternal health more important than ever.
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.
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.
The issue of population is also causing strain on society: heinous crimes are happening more than ever in the areas of gender inequality and human rights, especially in developing countries. Leadership is already doing a subpar job at taking care of its citizens, and as more people come into the world, violations such as human trafficking and child labor are increasingly becoming normal.
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