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World Population Day: Why World Population Day is really about women

Jul 18, 2017, 11:30 AM

World Population Day 2017 is being observed across all countries Worldwide including Gambi

World Population day is an annual event, observed on July 11 every year, which seeks to raise awareness of population issues.

The event was established by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programmed in 1989. It was inspired by the public interest in Five Billion Day on July 11, 1987-approximately the date on which the world’s population reached five billion people.

 World Population Day aims at increase people’s awareness on various population issues such as the importance of family planning, gender equality, poverty, maternal health and human rights.

While press interest and general awareness in the global population surges only at the increments of whole billions of people, the world population increases by 100 million approximately every 14 months. The world population reached 7,400,000,000 on February 6, 2016; the world population will reach 7,500,000,000 at 16:21 Z on April 24, 2017.[2]

10 interesting facts about population trends from around the world

World Population Day 2017 is being observed across all countries today. Rising population for some countries has become a matter of concern, for some it is being seen as a demographic dividend. According to the UN’s World Population Prospects:

The 2017 Revision, around 83 million people are being added to the world’s population every year. It is projected that fertility levels across the world will continue to decline in coming decades.

Even then the global population is expected to reach 8.6 billion in 2030, 9.8 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion in 2100, the report says, adding the population will grow older across the world in near future. But it will remain relatively young for some time in countries where fertility is still high.

Here are 10 interesting population trends from around the world:

1) A large number of youth in Japan have started to abstain from sex or avoid relationships, say reports. A survey in 2011 revealed that around 61% of unmarried men and 49% of women aged 18-34 were not in any kind of romantic relationship. This was a rise of almost 10% from five years earlier, the Guardian reported in 2013. A BBC report this year says that 43% of people aged 18-34 from Japan are virgins, and 64% of the same age group are not in a relationship. Some of the reasons for this shared by the Japanese youth include being intimidated by women, exposure to porn and traditional gender roles.

2) China’s population is ageing. It is getting older, faster than anywhere in the world. According to UN, China’s dependency ratio, which compares the difference between those not part of the labour force to those working full-time, is expected rise up to 44% by 2050.

3) the number of people aged 80 or more is projected to triple by 2050, and by 2100 to increase to nearly seven times its value in 2017.

4) European population to decline by 25 million by 2050 as compared to 2015: “Between 2015 and 2050, the excess of deaths over births in Europe is projected to total 57 million, whereas the net inflow of international migrants is expected to be around 32 million, implying an overall reduction of Europe’s population by about 25 million.

 5) India received over 1,00,000 migrants per year between 2010-2015. Apart from India, other countries with a net outflow of 1,00,000 migrants per year in 2010-2015, excluding those dominated by refugee movements, were Bangladesh, China, Pakistan, the Philippines and Spain.

 6) Countries with the highest life expectancy of 82 years or more for both sexes combined are Australia, Hong Kong SAR (China), Iceland, Italy, Japan, Macao SAR (China), Singapore, Spain, and Switzerland.

 7) Countries with low life expectancy below 55 years include the Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Lesotho, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Somalia, and Swaziland.

 8) People to have a longer life: Life expectancy to rise across the world. Globally, life expectancy for both sexes combined is projected to rise from 71 years in 2010-2015 to 77 years in 2045-2050 and eventually to 83 years in 2095-2100.

 9) Europe has most elderly people: In Europe, 25 per cent of the population is already aged 60 years or over and that proportion is projected to reach 35 per cent in 2050 and 36 per cent in 2100.

10) An Average African woman gives birth to at least four children, even as fertility is falling across the world. In recent years, fertility has declined in almost all countries of the world. In Africa, where fertility level is highest, total fertility has fallen from 5.1 births per woman in 2000-2005 to 4.7 in 2010-2015. In the same period, fertility level also fell in Asia (from 2.4 to 2.2), Latin America and the Caribbean (from 2.5 to 2.1), and Northern America (from 2.0 to 1.85). In contrast, fertility level has increased in Europe from 1.4 births per woman in 2000-2005 to 1.6 in 2010-2015.

Why World Population Day is really about women?

There are about 214 million women around the world who want to avoid pregnancy but don’t have access to contraception, according to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Addressing this unmet need is part of the inspiration for the theme of this year’s World Population Day on Tuesday: “family planning.”

The world has 7.6 billion people in it, and by 2023 the United Nations predicts there will be more than 8 billion people who call the planet home. In Africa alone, the continent with the highest fertility rate and lowest use of modern contraceptives, 26 countries will double their population by 2050, according to the U.N.

What Do People Do?

World Population Day aims to increase people’s awareness on various population issues such as the importance of family planning, including gender equality, poverty, maternal health and human rights. The day is celebrated worldwide by business groups, community organizations and individuals in many ways. Activities include seminar discussions, educational information sessions and essay competitions.


In 1968 world leaders proclaimed that individuals had a basic human right to determine freely and responsibly the number and timing of their children. About 40 years later modern contraception remains out of reach for millions of women, men and young people. World Population Day was instituted in 1989 as an outgrowth of the Day of Five Billion, marked on July 11, 1987. The UN authorized the event as a vehicle to build an awareness of population issues and the impact they have on development and the environment.

Since then, with the United Nations Population Fund’s (UNFPA) encouragement, governments, non-governmental organizations, institutions and individuals organize various educational activities to celebrate the annual event.


The UN logo is often associated with marketing and promotional material for this event. It features a projection of a world map (less Antarctica) centered on the North Pole, enclosed by olive branches. The olive branches symbolize peace and the world map represents all the people of the world. It has been featured in colors such as blue against a yellow background

For further information UNFPA in the Gambia, UN office and Ministry of Health, send email to azadehhassanmd10@gmail.com, send text only to Dr Azadeh 002207774469/3774469

Author DR AZADEH, Senior Lecturer at the University of the Gambia, Senior Consultant in Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Clinical Director at Medicare Health Services.