Share, Contribute on World Population Day

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By Maria Fotopoulos

Maria is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow who focuses on the impacts of growth on biodiversity. Find her on Twitter | in | FB.

The writer’s views are her own.


 

July 9, 2012

Introducing the “taboo” topic of overpopulation in casual conversation can be a bit difficult these days. But with Wednesday, July 11 designated World Population Day, you have a reason to talk about it this week!

Here are some factoids to spur your 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 7,024,375,247 (see how quickly the numbers change on the world population clock).
  • We now add about 80 million people to the planet a year.
  • Estimates show 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! I of course have a personal bias towards recommending contributions to Californians for Population Stabilization. There are many other organizations working towards a sustainable population I’d recommend supporting too, including Population Connection, the Population Media Center and Negative Population Growth, among others.

So, let’s talk population this week!

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