Every year, the day of 11th July is celebrated as World Population Day across the globe. To develop, a country needs to handle the issues of the population in an effective manner. The countries having large population face several difficulties as such huge population puts enormous pressure on the limited resources. Many countries having smaller population face other kind of challenges as they do not have enough manpower to utilize their resources effectively. Nowadays, the rising of population is one of the biggest concerns for the whole world as many challenges are arising because of this factor. Therefore, to raise attention on the urgency and importance of population issues, the world population day is observed globally. This annual observance is an occasion to educate people about rapidly growing population and its issues.
The History Behind the Celebration of World Population Day
The event, World Population Day was established by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme in 1989. This day was first marked on 11th July 1990 in more than 90 countries. However, this day was drawn into public interest on 11th July 1987. On the same day, the world’s accumulated population reached five billion and this day is also known as the Five Billion Day. Dr. K.C. Zachariah had suggested the idea of celebrating World Population Day, on the day when population reaches Five Billion, when he was working as Senior Demographer at World Bank. Then in the resolution 45/216 of December 1990, the UN General Assembly decided to continue observing World Population Day to spread the awareness of population issues, including their relations to the environment and development and made this day official.
Resolution 45/216 Adopted by the General Assembly
The UN General Assembly adopted resolution 45.216 or 45/216 on December 21, 1990. The resolution reaffirms its commitment to population and development efforts and decided to increase spending on the same. Under this resolution, some other parameters also adopted are as follows:
1. The sovereign right of every nation is to adopt and implement population policies. This policy will remain consistent with their cultural and socio-economic conditions and individual rights.
2. The resolution acknowledges the UNFPA report on the implications of the Amsterdam Declaration on A Better Life for Future Generations.
3. It also urges UNFPA to maintain the momentum generated by the International Forum on Population in the 21st Century.
4. This emphasizes the need to take into account all economic and social factors in integrating demographic objectives in population and development strategies.
The Purpose and Significance of Celebrating World Population Day
The main aim of World Population Day is to highlight the issues caused due to overpopulation. By celebrating this day, we also spread awareness about how overpopulation may hinder the environment and developments related to it. The World Population Day also talks about family planning, poverty, gender equality, maternal health, human rights, and also the health issues faced by childbearing women. According to the recent estimates, it has been indicated that around 1 million people are being added to the world’s population every year. The demographers are assuming that fertility levels will continue to decline in future and the global population is expected to reach around 8.6 billion in 2030. Growing population has caused different types of issues in different regions. Even the basic necessities are being compromised at places due to the high and uneven rise in population.
India is the country that ranks second in the list of most populous countries after China. To manage such huge population is a challenging task and while considering the current situation of the Covid-19 pandemic, handling such a huge population has become even more challenging. During the second wave of pandemic, lack of proper planning and scarcity of health resources with respect to population, caused an increment in the rate of fatalities in the country. Even the bigger and advanced countries like USA and Italy that have lower population as compared to India also witnessed the massive deaths during the first wave of pandemic. Hence, population handling is not required for only few countries, but it is much needed at a global level.
The Theme of World Population Day 2021
Every year the World Population Day has a theme that describes the current situation of population throughout the world. Similarly, the theme of the World Population Day 2021 is “Rights and Choices are the answer: Whether baby boom or bust, the solution to shifting fertility rates lies in prioritizing the reproductive health and rights of all people.”
About millions of women across the world are still not given access to safe and effective family planning methods. This is why the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme chooses the theme which reflects the condition of women. This year the theme of World Population Day is also trying to make people aware about the basic human right of safe and effective family planning.
Stages of Population
Demographers across the world prepare a model that is known as Demographic Transition Model. This model describes 5 stages of a population that a country faces. This model was originated in the middle of the 20th century and it is the product of observations regarding population growth and development of numerous countries across the world. This model is essential because if experts can estimate that in which stage a country is lying or heading, they can plan according to it and will be able to manage the population and resources. The demographic transition model is made based on assumption that there is a strong association between birth and death rates, and industrialization and economic development. Here are the Demographic Transition Model Stages:-
This stage is a pre-industrial society in which both birth and death rates are quite high. This causes lack of food availability, shortage of medical care, improper sanitation and hygiene. Population does not grow very much due to disease, famine and starvation.
This stage is known as population explosion stage because in this stage, the birth rate becomes constant as a country begins to experience social and economic development. People start living properly with proper food supply, medical care. In this stage, death rate falls quickly.
At this stage, birth rates start declining because of many social factors like contraception access, higher wages, improvement in education, social status of women, etc. The death rate continues to decline as a country further improves its health and sanitation facilities.
Both birth and death rates are low in this stage because people who in the third stage were having an average of two children are now considering having one. As a result, the population may remain the same or even decrease as people from second stage are expected to get older and dying in this stage.
This is one of the most uncertain stages as fertility rates will experience shifts to either above or below replacement levels. Some demographers say that fertility levels will increase, while others state the opposite. The fertility level also depends on the society, as population in China and Australia is expected to fall due to lower birth rates while in the U.S., India and Mexico, it is expected to increase.
This model is essential because if experts can estimate that in which stage a country is lying or heading, they can plan according to it and will be able to manage the population and resources.
Population of a country is its biggest resource. However, it can be a liability if the issues related to its development and welfare are not taken care appropriately. World Population Day emphasizes on the same and aware people about various problems population is facing. It is to educate and remind everyone that all the people of population deserve to live with dignity and an easy access to the basic necessities. With the constant rise in global population, we as one world also need to step up to follow the measures required for a sustainable development.