Released Oct. 26, 2011
The report, The State of World Population 2011: People and possibilities in a world of 7 billion, will explain the trends behind the numbers and make the case for greater investment to meet the needs of everyone, especially girls and women, for education and family planning.
The report is in some 130 cities and available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.
With a record number of young people just entering their prime reproductive years, the individual decisions they make about bearing children will determine whether human population rises to 10 billion or 16 billion by the end of the century.
Critical trends in population growth include longer lifespans (68 years, compared to 48 in 1950); ageing (people over 80 are the fastest-growing age group); urbanization (more than half the world’s people now live in cities, but two out of three will by 2050); and climate change that is affecting rainfall, crop yields, wildlife habitat and human migration patterns. The averages hide great disparities.
Of the 78 million people being added to the global population every year, more than 97 out of every 100 new world citizens are in developing countries that are least able to meet their people’s needs. Meanwhile, most industrialized countries are losing population size, but each of their people consumes an outsize share of earth’s resources compared to those in low-income nations. And wide disparities also exist within as well as among nations.
This report makes the case that with planning and the right investments in people now—to empower them to make choices that are not only good for themselves but for our global commons—our world of 7 billion can have thriving, sustainable cities, productive labour forces that can fuel economic growth, youth populations that contribute to the well-being of economies and societies, and a generation of older people who are healthy and actively engaged in the social and economic affairs of their communities
ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION AND TEACHING MATERIALS
TEACHING NOTES / CONTEXT FOR USE
This report can be used in a number of disciplines as background information about population growth and the increased risk of climate change, leading to impacts on food security, water security, health and national security.
REFERENCES AND RESOURCES
This report was produced by the Information and External Relations Division of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. Editorial team Lead reporter: Barbara Crossette Additional reporting and writing: Richard Kollodge UNFPA Advisory Board: Rune Froseth, Werner Haug, Aminata Toure, Sylvia Wong Editor: Richard Kollodge Editorial associate: Robert Puchalik Editorial and administrative associate: Mirey Chaljub Distribution manager: Jayesh Gulrajani
This report provides a snapshot of how China, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, India, Mexico, Mozambique, Nigeria, and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia are facing diverse demographic challenges, ranging from ageing populations to high fertility rates, and from urbanization to the emergence of new generations of young people. Some of these countries are coping with high fertility rates and others are facing rates so low that governments are already looking for ways to increase population size. Some countries with labour shortages are looking to migrants to fill jobs, while others are relying on the remittances sent back home by citizens working overseas to buoy their economies. And while some countries are attracting more people to emerging mega-cities
Assessment is at the discretion of the educator and how this report is applied.