One of the most important awareness days is celebrated on 11 July every year. It is the “World Population Day” which is meant to remind the general public about our exploding population and its devastating effects on every species on earth and its biosphere.
World Population Day Theme:
The day is celebrated with a particular theme every year which is decided by the UN council but this time they have decided to not have a theme. Instead, they are throwing light on the unfinished goals of the International Conference on Population and Development which took place about 25 years ago in Cario in 1994, in which 179 countries took part.
Also Read: Indian Population(2019), Demography of India
In the conference, the governments of the participating countries adopted a goal which said that “the reproductive health and gender equality are necessary for achieving sustainable development.” Thus this time, the day will focus on gender equality and reproductive health awareness to promote sustainable development of mankind.
World Population Day History:
Before the industrial revolution and the development of modern medicine, the birth rates and death rates were both very high, creating a balance but with the coming of the modern age and the industrial revolution and advancement of medicine, there was a sharp decline in death rates but the birth rates stayed the same which caused a sudden huge explosion of population.
This happened with every country, in which modern age arrived and which went through the transition from agricultural to an industrial economy. In the year 1989, the world’s population reached 5 billion and it became a serious concern for many of the people including scientists and environmentalists who understood the consequence of a population under exponential growth.
This inspired the governing council of the United Nations Development Program to establish the World Population Day as an awareness day, which would make the public concerned about the impacts of population on the humans and the environment.
World Population Day Significance:
The world’s population day was established to make the general public aware of the problem of population explosion and about the solutions which can be enforced to make human development more sustainable. It also includes making the governments aware and accountable for making efforts to solve the population issues by making campaigns and laws which can help to control the exponential growth and decrease the birth rate.
These issues include family planning, gender equality, infant mortality rates and reproductive health. Family planning is the main weapon to curb the problem of population. However, all family planning programs and laws have certain standards to follow so that it doesn’t become a flag bearer of discrimination or exploitation of human rights.
Standards of Family Planning:
The standards which need to be followed are:
- Non-discrimination: This means that the family planning laws should not discriminate people based on economic status, social status, race, region, religion or language. It should be enforced equally on every individual of a nation.
- Accessibility: Family planning services and goods should be available to every citizen of a country. For example, contraceptives or IUDs should be available and be affordable for people.
- Acceptable: Family planning should be accepted by the citizen of a country and it should be promoted in a dignified way respecting ethics and cultures of the particular region.
- Good quality: The information which is provided by the government should be proper and accurate.
- Informed decision making: Family planning should not mess with the reproductive rights of the individual and each individual should have the right to make informed decisions regarding family planning and choice of contraceptives with full autonomy.
- Privacy and confidentiality: Every individual who seeks family planning should be given full confidentiality.
- Participation:The countries should make its citizen participate actively in the family planning programs.
- Accountability: All the policy makers leaders should be accountable to the public in promoting the idea of family planning and making them realise its necessity.
World Population Day Celebration:
It is celebrated in a different manner in different countries. The different organisations celebrate it by different activities and events which draw attention to the population problem. Mini-seminar is hosted. Educational campaigns and release are often organised by schools and colleges. A public contest like poster making slogan and debates are also organised by many local communities and organisations. Workshop on the topic is also held in many places.
Shocking Facts about World Population:
- The population of the world has reached a whopping 7.6 billion by the middle of 2017.
- Over the last decade, a billion people were added to the population of the world.
- The current rate of growth of the world population is 1.10 % per year which means 83 million people are added to the existing population every year.
- By 2030, the global population could be reaching 8.6 billion and by 2050, it could be reaching 9.8 billion which means by 2100, a catastrophic 11.2 billion people would be existing in the world.
- The median age, which is the age at which half the population is younger and the other half is older, is currently 30 years.
- In the last decade, the majority of the population was young which is the highest in history creating the potential for social and economic progress.
- Currently, more people are living in urban areas as compared to any other time in history and this trend can continue for years.
- The main countries which are contributing to the unprecedented population growth are India, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Pakistan, United States of America, Tanzania, Uganda and Indonesia.
- More than three-fourths of the population lives in Asia and Africa. The global population share of Africa could be reaching 40% by 2100.
- India and China are the two most populous countries in the world. Together, they share 37% of the world’s population.
- India will overtake China to become the number one most populous country in the world by 2024.
- The fastest growing population belongs to Nigeria which is currently 7th among the most populous countries.