This post orginally appeared on the FHI 360 blog, Degrees, and can be accessed here.
On October 31, 2011, the 7 billionth world citizen was born.
Only 50 years ago, the world population was 3 billion — less than half what it is today. What does this mean? Is our population growing too quickly, or is this milestone a testament to advances in agriculture, medicine and technology? As we look to the future — a future with more youth and more elderly than the world has ever known — how do we nurture opportunity and benefit from every person’s vast potential?
Together we can accomplish a great deal, but the world faces many challenges. The most rapid population growth is taking place in the poorest countries. An estimated 215 million women have no access to family planning. Persistent gender inequities fuel high fertility rates, which in turn hinder development. People across the globe are moving more — some in search of opportunity, others fleeing famine, violence or economic despair at home. And in some regions, the environment is in danger under the added strain of increased population.
We have our work cut out for us, but with 7 billion minds and hands working together – including individuals, families, communities and governments, along with the private and public sector – we can continue to innovate to improve lives worldwide.
The State of the World Population (UNFPA) examines where we have been, where we are now and what these numbers mean for our collective future. View The State of the World Population Report.
What do you think?