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UNFPA Global Population Policy Update
World Population to Reach 7 Billion on 31 October
ISSUE 96 - 03 May 2011
The world population is estimated to reach 7 billion in October 2011, and projected to increase to 10.1 billion in the next 90 years, according to estimates in the 2010 Revision of World Population Prospects, the official United Nations population projections, which were released today. Most of this growth is expected to come from high-fertility countries comprising 39 in Africa, 9 in Asia, 6 in Oceania and 4 in Latin America.
Currently, 42 per cent of the world’s population live in low-fertility countries  , 40 per cent in intermediate-fertility countries  , and the remaining 18 per cent live in high-fertility countries . According to the report, the highest potential for future growth is in high-fertility countries where it is projected that between now and 2100, the population will more than triple, increasing from 1.2 billion to 4.2 billion. During the same period, the population of the intermediate-fertility countries would increase by just 26 per cent, from 2.8 billion to 3.5 billion, while that of the low-fertility countries would decline by about 20 per cent, from 2.9 billion to 2.4 billion.
Below is the UNFPA press release on the 2010 Revision of World Population Prospects. For the UN Press Release and further information on the projections, visit: http://www.un.org/esa/population/unpop.htm.
World Population to Reach 7 Billion on 31 October
UNFPA to draw attention throughout the year to the significance of the milestone
3 May 2011
UNITED NATIONS, New York—World population is projected to reach 7 billion on 31 October 2011, according to the 2010 Revision of World Population Prospects, the official United Nations population projections prepared by the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs and released today.
UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is planning a series of activities to engage partners and the general public to underline the significance of this population milestone.
“A world of 7 billion is both a challenge and an opportunity,” said UNFPA Executive Director, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin. “Globally, people are living longer, healthier lives and choosing to have smaller families. But reducing inequities and finding ways to ensure the well-being of people alive today – as well as the generations that follow – will require new ways of thinking and unprecedented global cooperation,” he said.
“In particular,” said Dr. Osotimehin, “the population projections underscore the urgent need to provide safe and effective family planning to the 215 million women who lack it. Small variations in fertility – when multiplied across countries and over time – make a world of difference. We must invest the resources to enable women and men to have the means to exercise their human right to determine the number and spacing of their children.”
The projections also remind us that it is vital to create opportunities for young people who constitute a majority in many of the least developed countries where much of the population increases are expected, added Dr. Osotimehin. “When young people can exercise their right to health, education and decent working conditions, they can improve the capacities of their nations to escape poverty,” he said.
Dr. Osotimehin noted that the greater longevity projected for all regions, coupled with low fertility in many countries, means that many countries will be confronting the challenge of ageing populations. “We should plan in advance for the health care and social safety nets of the elderly at the same time we support the largest generation ever of youth,” he said.
UNFPA will kick off a series of activities related to the population milestone of 7 billion people on World Population Day, 11 July. At that time, UNFPA and several partners, including National Geographic, will launch a social media campaign to engage individuals and groups on different issues related to a world of 7 billion. These will include urbanization, women’s empowerment and environmental sustainability.
UNFPA is also planning a 7-day countdown, starting on 24 October, United Nations Day, and leading up to the birth of the 7 billionth baby a week later. Events will culminate in the launch of this year’s The State of World Population report, which will analyze challenges and opportunities presented by a world of 7 billion.
 countries where women are not having enough children to ensure that, on average, each woman is replaced by a daughter who survives to the age of procreation.
 countries where each woman is having, on average, between 1 and 1.5 daughters.
countries where the average woman has more than 1.5 daughters.
All previous issues of the UNFPA Global Population Policy Update can be found on UNFPA's website at:
This newsletter is issued by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in its capacity as the secretariat for the biennial International Parliamentarians' Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action (IPCI/ICPD). The first IPCI/ICPD was held in November 2002 in Ottawa, Canada; the second in October 2004 in Strasbourg, France; the third in November 2006 in Bangkok, Thailand; and the fourth in November 2009 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. These dispatches are intended to highlight major developments taking place around the world so that parliamentarians can stay informed of and learn from the successes, setbacks and challenges encountered by their fellow counterparts in other countries and regions in their efforts to promote the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (September 1994, Cairo, Egypt). It should be noted that UNFPA does not necessarily endorse the policies described in this newsletter.
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