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World Population Day

11/07/2011

Did you know that this year the population of the Earth will reach seven billion people?

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

The tremendous interest generated by the Day of 5 Billion on 11 July 1987 led to the establishment of World Population Day as an annual event. For more than 20 years, 11 July has been an occasion to mark the significance of population trends and related issues.

According to the United Nations web site: “The unprecedented decrease in mortality that began to accelerate in the more developed parts of the world in the nineteenth century and expanded to all the world in the twentieth century is one of the major achievements of humanity. By one estimate, life expectancy at birth increased from 30 to 67 years between 1800 and 2005, leading to a rapid growth of the population: from 1 billion in 1810 to nearly 7 billion in 2010.”

In many ways a world of 7 billion is an achievement: Globally, people are living longer and healthier lives, and couples are choosing to have fewer children. However, because so many couples are in, or will soon be entering, their reproductive years, the world population is projected  to increase for decades to come.  Meeting the needs of current and future generations presents daunting challenges.

Click here to see the World Population Clock.

The theme of this year’s World Population Day is “7 Billion People. 7 Billion Actions”.  The UN web site for the program describes how “Every one of us has a unique role and an inherent calling to help one another and to make the world a better place. Every organization has a responsibility to help solve the problems larger than any one person can tackle alone.” Through the website you can learn more about the movement, the 12 key issues, how to become a partner organization, and how to stay connected to the movement.

Thanks to technology, we are all able to be a part of this movement, which seems to make our world just a little smaller.

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