World population size exceeded five billion in 1987, six billion in 1999 and seven billion in 2011. United Nations projections indicate that world population will approach 10 billion by 2050 and 11 billion by the end of this century.
People worldwide are living longer, moving to cities and having smaller families. They key to a prosperous future for all is smaller families. This can be achieved through ensuring access to family planning, providing equality for women and promoting the benefits of smaller families.
More people means less resources to go around — particularly for the poor.
Resources must be used more efficiently and waste must be reduced. The key is for individuals to consume mindfully.
There are a number of things individuals can do on World Population Day to help raise the issue of population and promote smaller families:
- Hold a teach-in on world population trends.
- How is population growth affecting the area in which you live? Come up with a story and share it with local media.
- Hold a debate on family size — is smaller better?
- Survey family planning provision or sex and relationship education in your area. Find out how could it be better and then ask for improvements.
- Are women truly equal in your area in terms of access to education and employment? If not, what can be done?
World Population Day was established by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme in 1989.