Introducing the “taboo” topic of overpopulation in casual conversation can be a bit difficult these days. But with tomorrow, July 11 designated World Population Day, you have a reason to talk about it this week.
Here are some factoids to spur a discussion and start some thought-sharing about how to create a sustainable population through education and voluntary choices, and a world where every child is wanted:
- World population, as I write, registered 7,025,280,259 (see how quickly the numbers change on the world population clock).
- We now add about 80 million people to the planet a year.
- Estimates range from an additional 2 to 4 billion more people on Earth in the next 50 years.
- Globally, about one in six women doesn’t have access to effective, modern contraception.
- Put another way, about 222 million women in the developing world want to avoid/plan pregnancies, but lack modern contraceptives.
- If these contraceptive and educational needs were met, there would be an estimated 53 million fewer unintended pregnancies and approximately 100,000 fewer maternal deaths annually.
- Maternal deaths in developing countries continue to be high for young and poor women – those who have the least access to contraception and education – and are around 358,000 each year.
- Some 10 to 15 million women every year suffer severe or long-term health impacts due to pregnancy or childbirth complications, including the devastating obstetric fistula, which can occur when medical care is inadequate (estimated 50,000 to 100,000 new cases annually).
- Investing in health for women and babies has many positive returns for families and communities.
Also to aid your discussion(s), Dave Gardner, who produced the documentary, “Growthbusters: Hooked on Growth,” created a Website for World Population Day to give “unusually frank information about the state of world population.”
And if you want to “put your money where your mouth is,” make a cash contribution to support educational work about overpopulation. As a writer for Californians for Population Stabilization, I of course have a personal bias for this organization.
There are many other organizations working towards a sustainable population I’d recommend supporting too, including Population Connection, the Population Media Center, Negative Population Growth and World Population Balance, among others.
So, let’s talk population this week!