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7 Billion Reasons to Care About World Population Day

7 Billion Reasons to Care About World Population Day

It took 200,000 years for the earth’s population to reach 1 billion people back in 1804. Now, estimations indicate that we will break the 7 billion mark this year–just 207 years later. We have added 6 billion people to our planet in a blink of the earth’s history.

Today, on World Population Day, we have 7 billion reasons to pay attention, and care, about the effects growing populations have on our communities, the environment, the availability of natural resources and most importantly, the health and wellbeing of women, children, and their families.

The impact of population is perhaps most keenly felt in areas of great need—where there are already strains on natural resources, few accessible health facilities, and environmental challenges. For instance, in a country like Bangladesh that already faces flooding challenges, an increase in population puts increased demands on accessible, arable land.

So what can we do to help? One of the best investments is family planning. Supporting available contraceptives and family planning options supports the rights of women, the health of families, and the wellbeing of our natural environments.

“Investing in family planning is cost-effective and essential to solving many health and development issues,” USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah said. “When an individual or a couple has the ability to choose the timing and spacing of their children, they are better equipped to provide for their family’s well-being.”

Focusing on family planning can help:

  • Reduce poverty and inequality. By having fewer children, families can keep more children in school, have larger incomes, and achieve higher levels of education.
  • Empower women and girls. When women can choose when and how often to have children, they have more opportunities to pursue education, careers, financial security and more.
  • Improve maternal and child health. With fewer pregnancies, women are healthier and in turn, there are fewer maternal and infant deaths.
  • Meet the needs of youth. With more than half the world’s population under 25, the needs of youth to delay pregnancy and childbirth, stay in school, and start careers, are more important than ever.
  • Protect the environment. By slowing population growth through planned families, there will be fewer demands on key resources—particularly in vulnerable areas of the world.

USAID and myriad nonprofit organizations like Pathfinder International, Population Action International, Americans for UNFPA and many more, are raising awareness about this critical issue today through social media. Here are three specific actions you can take to show your support for family planning this World Population Day:

  • Tweet a link to this post and tell your friends why you believe family planning is important (make sure and use #7Billion in your post)
  • Contact your representative and tell him/her to support funding for UNFPA (which is currently at risk through Congressional measure to defund it)
  • Share a video about the importance of family planning (see video below)

Together, by taking action, we can all make a difference.

Family Planning Should be a Priority from Population Action International on Vimeo.

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78 comments

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8:59AM PST on Dec 25, 2011

Birth Control in Asia was needed 50 years ago see http://www.geohive.com/earth/pop_continent.aspx
It seems that the Populations of the so called 3rd world countries with the worst environmental conditions are growing the fastest, Why?
Asia went from 1.4 billion to 5 BILLION
Africa went from 227 million to 1 billion
Other continent have grown at a normal rate

7:12PM PST on Dec 1, 2011

I have posted a link to this article in the Population group here on Care2. You can join this group at the group's main page: http://www.care2.com/c2c/group/popn .

10:49AM PDT on Jul 24, 2011

Education is a major factor in alleviating the overpopulation problem. Noone should be in the caveman mentality any longer where pregnancy is some mystical concept and where lack of respect and responsibility for society reigns.

1:21PM PDT on Jul 22, 2011

Family planning is very much in need in our world today. The planet is becoming too populated.

6:11PM PDT on Jul 16, 2011

It's amazing how many people haven't figured out what causing overpopulation yet...

6:14AM PDT on Jul 16, 2011

Interesting article

7:22PM PDT on Jul 15, 2011

Stop having so many children! It's selfish. How do you regulate something like that, though? Population control sounds like a starting point for a futuristic horror movie or something. I don't see this problem getting fixed. Ever.

1:13PM PDT on Jul 15, 2011

Only thing I can do is not reproduce and adopt.

8:42AM PDT on Jul 14, 2011

don't forget, medical and hygene practices got better. and technology helped deminish mortality rates.

1:45AM PDT on Jul 14, 2011

@ Lloyd S.

The problem is that the situation is completely out of control. There is nothing that anyone can DO! It may make you feel better to try to do something, but it will have no effect whatsoever.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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