Sure, you might know that there are more than 7 billion people on earth right now, but how often do you stop to think about what that really means? World Population Day is a holiday that’s dedicated to focusing on the importance of population issues. The day was established by the United Nations as an outgrowth of the massive interest people had in Five Billion Day in 1987. Five Billion Day was meant to acknowledge the date that the world’s population reached five billion people, which supposedly happened on July 11 of that year (hence the annual date). And look how much the population has increased since then! Population issues cover a lot of territory, from family planning to gender equality to environmental impacts to human rights concerns. Read on for more information to help you celebrate this important holiday.
Every year the world continues to get more and more crowded. While we’ve a tendency to pack ourselves into massive cities, and there are presently still long open stretches of countryside, every year that gets whittled away at more and more.
The power and food needs of the world continue to place a greater and greater strain on our ability to meet them, and resources in general are becoming harder and harder to come by.
World Population Day comes along each year to remind us that our present rate of population growth is unsustainable, and the present social and logistical issues we are experiencing to meet the demand of that population will only get worse if we don’t do something.
Learn about World Population Day
World Population Day was established by the United Nations Development Programme. The reason for its creation was to increase awareness regarding global population issues. The purpose of the day is to increase the awareness that people have about a number of different population issues, including the importance of human rights, maternal health, poverty, gender equality, and family planning.
The issue with overpopulation
In order to understand why World Population Day is so important, you need to understand what human overpopulation is and why it is a vital issue. Human overpopulation is when there are too many people for the environment to sustain with breathable air, drinkable water, food, and so on.
There are a number of different reasons why overpopulation can occur. Of course, the most obvious is an increase in the number of births. However, there are also other reasons as well, including depletion of resources, an increase in immigration, and a decline in mortality rates.
Those who advocate moderating the population cite a number of different potential problems in order to argue for population decline. This includes the risk of mass starvation, impact on the quality of life, imminent or potential ecological collapse, global warming, and exceeding the carrying capacity of the Earth.
Some facts about the population
- Life expectancy is growing all of the time. In 2000, 67-years-old was the worldwide life expectancy rate. In 2015, this number increased to 71-years-old. It is then predicted that by the time we get to 2050, the life expectancy age will be 77-years-old. We are also seeing less variation across the world in terms of this rate.
- The world’s population is growing at a rapid pace. Of course, this is where this day stems from. At the moment, the world’s population is growing by approximately 83 million people per year.
- Fertility has dropped all over the world. Despite the fact that population rates are growing, you may be surprised to learn that the worldwide birth rate has actually fallen since the 1960s.
History of World Population Day
In 1987 there was an event called “Five Billion Day”, which recognized when the human population boiled over the 5 billion mark. Since then the United Nations Development Programme has been working to anticipate, support, and offset the needs of a rapidly growing population.
The population had been deemed to be growing out of control, and awareness was being spread about the need for family planning, ways to offset poverty, and the ability to ensure that proper maternal health was observed.
The existing strain of supporting our present population is already causing grievous crimes in the areas of human rights and gender equality. As more people come into an a world that’s already doing a poor job of taking care of its citizens, there are more and more of them coming vulnerable to human rights violations such as human trafficking and child labor.
World Population Day reminds us that we are part of an ever-growing world and that to ensure there’s a great future ahead for any of us, there has to be a great future for all of us.
How to celebrate World Population Day
Not to start off too personal, but the first thing you can do is make sure that your own family planning schedule is properly taken care of. So many places in the world see an uncontrolled growth in population due to a lack of access of proper preventative measures and poor maternal health monitoring.
If you’re lucky enough to not be in those areas, be sure you’re taking advantage of your privileges. While you’re at it, see what you can do to support those areas that don’t have access to these materials, and educate yourself on what we can do to help make the world a better place for all of us.
Another way to observe World Population Day is to spread word about the issue and raise awareness. You can take to social media or your blog if you have one and raise awareness about population issues and the steps that we can take in order to combat them. There will be a lot of fact sheets and infographics going around in the build-up to World Population Day, so make sure you share these with your friends, family, and followers.
You can also use World Population Day in order to educate yourself about the population. There is even a population counter online, so you can stay up-to-date with the latest population figures. It is also interesting to read about populations in different countries and continents and to understand how they have changed over the years. Do a little bit of digging online and you may be surprised by some of the information you stumble across!