July 11- World Population Day

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World Population Day, which seeks to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues, was established by the then-Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme in 1989. It was an outgrowth of the interest generated by the Day of Five Billion, observed on July 11, 1987.

By resolution 45/216 of December 1990, the United Nations General Assembly decided to continue observing World Population Day to enhance awareness of population issues, including their relations to the environment and development.

The day was first marked on July 11, 1990, in more than 90 countries. Since then, a number of UNFPA country offices and other organizations and institutions commemorate World Population Day, in partnership with governments and civil society.

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. It stands at almost 7.9 billion in 2021, 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 an average of 4.5 children each. By 2015, total fertility for the world had fallen to below 2.5 children per woman. Meanwhile, average global life spans have risen, from 64.6 years in the early 1990s to 72.6 years in 2019.

Additionally, 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 percent 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 healthcare, 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.

China and India: most populous countries

China (1.4 billion) and India (1.4 billion) remain the two most populous countries of the world, both with more than 1 billion people, each representing nearly 18 percent of the world’s population, respectively. However, in April 2023, India’s population was expected to reach 1,425,775,850 people, matching and then surpassing the population of mainland China.

India’s population is expected to keep growing for several decades. Meanwhile, China’s population recently reached its maximum size and has shown a decline since 2022. According to projections, the number of people in China will continue to decrease and may fall below 1 billion before the end of the century. 

Some Thought-provoking Facts

  • More than 40% of women around the world cannot make decisions on sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights.
  • As few as one in four women across low- and middle-income countries are realizing their desired fertility.
  • A woman dies every two minutes due to pregnancy or childbirth (and in conflict settings, the number of deaths is twice as high).
  • Nearly one-third of women have experienced intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or both.
  • Just six countries have 50% or more women in parliament.
  • More than two-thirds of the 800 million people globally who cannot read are women.

Related Observances

Source: https://www.un.org/en/observances/world-population-day