The current world population is a colossal 7.9 billion as of July 2021 according to the most recent United Nations estimate. It is important to understand the implications of such a rapid population growth and how it affects economic development, poverty, health care, environment and the availability of basic needs.
World Population Day is observed annually on July 11 to raise awareness about global population issues such as family planning, sexual and reproductive health, poverty, gender equality and human rights.
The Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) established this event in 1989; inspired by the peaking public interest in the celebration of ‘Five Billion Day’ on July 11, 1987.
In 2021, the main theme of the day is reproductive health and rights with a focus on the impact of COVID-19 on world population on fertility rates.
World Population Day 2021: Theme
According to UNFPA, “Rights and Choices are the Answer: Whether baby boom or bust, the solution to shifting fertility rates lies in prioritising all people's reproductive health and rights."
As increasing population impacts the health of women during pregnancy and childbirth, making the need for family planning, gender equality, and maternal health more important than ever.
The UNFPA agency emphasises that women must be empowered educationally, economically and politically to exercise choice over their bodies and fertility.
In a time where COVID-19 has had a staggering effect on medical infrastructure and reproductive liberty, discussing and urging leaders, policymakers, leaders and grassroots organisers to prioritise this issue is extremely important.
World Population Day: History
World Population Day was first established in 1989 by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme. It was inspired by the public interest in Five Billion Day on July 11, 1987, the approximate date on which the world's population reached five billion people.
This original date was decided to be set as ‘World Population Day’ by the United Nations General Assembly, and resolution 45/216 made this official in December 1990.
The day was suggested by Dr. K.C.Zachariah in which population reaches Five Billion when he worked as Sr Demographer at World Bank.
World Population Day 2021 Events
This is an International event where many countries, institutions and organisations participate to draw attention of the world on the major issues related to overpopulation.
Activities, workshops and educational seminars take place in academic institutions around the globe with a lot of media attention being given to awareness of family planning and maternal health.