World Population Day is a United Nations observance, commemorated every year on July 11. The day was created with the intention of raising awareness and attention to population issues around the globe, such as gender equality, human rights, maternal health, poverty, and family planning.
World Population Day has origins in an event that took place in 1987, called Five Billion Day. This day marked the moment at which the world population grew to over 5 million people. World Population Day was then established in 1989 by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme, a department whose goal is to support and anticipate the needs of a growing population.
Population issues are very disproportionate and affect those in developing countries much more than those in rich, developed countries.
The UN Development Programme aims to fight the crimes that come with overpopulation, in countries that lack a functioning government and suffer from human rights and gender equality issues. In many of these places, the population is very vulnerable to serious crimes such as child labor and human trafficking.
The day brings awareness to a number of issues, namely:
The rapid growth in population number has brought several new challenges.
The importance of making birth control and family planning available to those who don't have access to it.
The need to control poverty and give better maternal health care to mothers worldwide.
Why World Population Day is Important
Human overpopulation is one of the biggest issues the world faces right now as it places great pressure on the environment. Whilst there may be enough natural resources to provide enough food, water, and air for everyone, the population of the planet is not evenly distributed, so many of the most populated countries struggle to access those resources.
Overpopulation can be caused by an uncontrolled birth rate, increased immigration, and declining mortality rates. If the population rises to a number that is too unsustainable for the planet this could result in global warming, ecological collapse, and a depletion of resources that could cause mass starvation.
Every year, it is estimated that the world's population grows by 83 million people, and at the same time, life expectancy keeps growing, due to the developments in health care.
The exact date was not noted, but during this month at some point the world population reached 4 billion.
July 11, 1987
The world population reached 5 billion. Five Billion Day was announced by the UN.
October 12, 1999
The world population reached 6 billion.
October 31, 2011
The world population reached 7 billion.
November 15, 2022
The world population reached 8 billion.
The world population is predicted to reach 9 billion.
What to do for World Population Day
There are many things you can do to observe and make the most of World Population Day:
Many organizations will have open activities such as seminars and information sessions, so the public can get information about the issues the world's population currently faces.
Spend time today doing research of your own and looking into the problems of overpopulation in order to know what to do to help.
Donate to one of the many NGOs and nonprofits that work to educate young people about contraception and family planning, or those that aid people in getting out of poverty. There are also organizations whose aim is to help refugees that have had to leave their homes for a new country. Any contribution you can make to these places is a great help in fighting overpopulation.