World Population Day

Milen Negash
10 July 2020

World Population Day has been internationally recognized each year on July 11th since 1989, making this year the 31st anniversary. Originally established by the United Nations Development Programme, this day is aimed to bring awareness and attention to the many global population issues faced by communities around the world, such as reproductive health issues, gender equality, poverty, family planning and other basic human rights.

World Population Day is a day we should recognize as being important to all of us, because it brings attention to many global issues that directly and indirectly affect our lives and futures, even if we aren’t actually aware of it!



This year, the theme is “Putting the brakes on COVID-19”, and is focused on safeguarding the health and rights of women and girls, globally, during the pandemic. The United Nations is aiming to raise awareness for reproductive and sexual health issues, while also bringing attention to women and girls around the world who are put in an especially vulnerable position during the pandemic. UNFPA research has found that during this global lockdown, women’s access to “life-saving sexual and reproductive health services” have been severely disrupted, and there is an expected increase of approx. 31 million additional cases of gender-based violence around the world.

We are currently living in an unprecedented time where the future of our world population is faced with the unknown, and raising awareness for population-related issues is more important than ever. The current global pandemic we are living amongst has further revealed many of the socio-economic weaknesses in protecting the global population, especially toward communities and populations that are more vulnerable.

This day is also closely linked with the overall sustainability of the world, in alignment with the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, such as the goals of Good Health, (#3), Gender Equality (#5), Quality Education (#4), Economic Growth (#8), and Peace & Justice (#16). Even if you are living comfortably and may not think this day matters to you, the societies we live in are connected to one global chain of production that shapes the ways in which we live everyday. 



As discussed by Population Matters, “Sustainable development needs sustainable population”, meaning that when global population issues are supported in a positive and ethical way, we become closer to a healthier and more sustainable planet. By continuing to call global attention to population issues, we are working towards fairer living conditions and achieving sustainable development throughout the world.

  • Here are some interesting FACTS about our world population:
  • The world supposedly reached 5 billion people on July 11th 1987, hence its annual date
  • India is expected to be the most populous country in the world by the end of 2025
  • The world population increases each year by approximately 100 million
  • The current global population is approximately 7.8 billion

Here are the Top 10 countries in the world with the highest populations, as of 2019 (according to

  1. China             (1,439,323,776)
  2. India              (1,380,004,385)
  3. United States  (331,002,651)
  4. Indonesia       (273,523,615)
  5. Pakistan         (220,892,340)
  6. Brazil             (212,559,417)
  7. Nigeria           (206,139,589)
  8. Bangladesh    (164,689,383)
  9. Russia            (145,934,462)
  10. Mexico           (128,932,753)

Image source:

Lastly, for more information on this annual date and to learn more about world population issues, please visit the United Nations Population Fund at


Additional sources:


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