10/19/2017

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World Population Day

As people live longer and more children are born than people who die, the world's population has steady growth.

The world's population is growing at a steady rate and is well over the 7 billion mark. To some, this may not register as a serious concern, but to those who study the consequences created by unchecked population growth, it is an issue that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.

World Population Day is observed on July 11 of each year to highlight the ongoing efforts of the United Nations and other organizations that bring awareness to the many effects that are caused by the rapid increase of human population growth throughout the world.

Established by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Program in 1989, World Population Day is credited with helping world leaders recognize the fact that there was a startling increase in the number of children that were born between 1800 and 1950 and that number, 2.5 billion doubled by 1987 to over 5 billion, and as of 2016, that number has increased to 7 billion individuals and and is still growing.

With such a drastic increase in world population growth in two hundred and fifty years, there are, and will be, far reaching consequences, not just in under developed countries, but in every country, even the most advanced.

World Population Day is observed globally. It is not a recognized as a federal or state holiday in the United States. Even so, the importance of World Population Day cannot be discounted in any way because the world is constantly changing and along with the changes comes issues that may need to be recognized, challenged, and corrected.

Although many of the issues that are highlighted on World Population Day have been around for many, many years, some are more pronounced today than ever. Hunger, warfare, genocide, racial cleansing, human rights abuses, slavery, diseases, and other issues that are brought on by population growth are some of the themes that resurface year after year. Below are a few:

Urbanization: With the industrial revolution of the 1800's, millions of people left farms and rural areas and moved into cities. This has made it necessary to generate massive urban planning projects, building of millions of new homes, streets, sewer systems, and water projects.

Hunger: Although hunger should not be a major problem in the world today, it is. Many people, especially children, go to bed hungry and without the means to obtain food. Even in industrialized nations, food is not always available for the poor and needy. Much food is thrown away due to the inability of people to afford it, the transportation of it, and warring factions in certain countries.

Diseases: Dangerous new viruses are continually popping up in areas around the world. HIV/AIDS, marburg, ebola, vika, smallpox, influenza, hantavirus, and other viruses pop up randomly and create illness, death, and panic. Once the viruses find their way into animals, mosquitoes, and other insects, they can be transferred to humans and then spread around the world.

Warfare: War is the most devastating of all disasters. Countries go to war when populations dictate the need for more land, food, and water rights. People flee their homelands because of war, famine, overcrowding, religious differences, ethnic cleansing, and political affiliations. In many cases, the areas to which they flee become overcrowded and each of the items listed above ends up repeating itself.

Ethnic Cleansing: Throughout history, there has been many cases of ethnic cleansing around the world. Although ethnic cleansing is a crime under international law, it is basically unenforceable and is still used as a way to force ethnic groups out of areas, usually by systemic deportation or by genocide.

World Population Day puts a spotlight on issues that have an impact on people, the environment, and on the development of countries that have high unemployment, poverty, insufficient healthcare, out of control birthrates, substandard education, and human rights issues.

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