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World Population Day 2020: History and Significance

From 1971 to 2011, the population of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan grew 142 per cent, as compared to 86 per cent in the southern states. (Representative image/PTI)

From 1971 to 2011, the population of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan grew 142 per cent, as compared to 86 per cent in the southern states. (Representative image/PTI)

July 11 also marked the day when the world had reached the overall population of 5 billion in the year 1987.

On July 11, the World Population Day is observed in an attempt to raise awareness about the trend of growing global population and its implications. It was established in 1989 by the governing council of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

July 11 also marked the day when the world had reached the overall population of 5 billion in the year 1987. According to the United Nations (https://www.un.org/en/observances/world-population-day), although it took thousands of years for the global population to reach 1 billion, the population became 7 fold in just another 200 years or so.

This dramatic explosion of population has been a result of certain trends like increasing the number of people surviving to the reproductive age, “accompanied by major changes in fertility rates, increasing urbanization and accelerating migration”.

These trends do not stop here and actually have far reaching effects. They do affect and will continue to affect the “economic development, employment, income distribution, poverty and social protections”.

Increasing population will also affect the efforts by the UN and other authorities to ensure universal access to health care, housing, education, sanitation, food, water, and energy.

Thus, we need to realise the pace at which the world population is growing and zero down on the quantity of the amenities and resources needed by the people.

Another factor to count in is the disparity that girls and women suffer across the world. UNFPA’s flagship 2020 State of the World Population report states that every day, hundreds of thousands of girls around the globe are “harmed physically or psychologically, with the full knowledge and consent of their families, friends and communities”. The report concludes that the situation is likely to worsen if no urgent action is taken.