On July 11, 1989, the 5 billionth man was born. Then UN secretary general Javier Perez de Cuéllar, expressing concern over the population increase, proclaimed this birth as a turning point in the world history, pointed out the urgent need for sustainable development, access to education, health and social services.

Since then the UN named July 11 as the world population day. This decision was made so that by organizing different activities and events, the attention of people across the world is drawn towards cooperation in the issues of population growth. A special program has been prepared in this connection.

The UN Population office has announced that the total number of the people born since the creation of the first man till the end of 2017 was 108 billion. Accordingly, the world population in 1804 was about 1 billion. In the years 1927, 1960, and 1974, the world population increased to two, three, and four billion, respectively. And according to the figures released at the beginning of 2017, the world population was approximately 7.285 billion. These figures show that one fifteenth of the total population of human history is now alive.

60% of the world population live in Asia (20% of which live in China and 17% in India). In other words, out of every three people in the world more than one is Chinese or Indian. 12% of the world population lives in Africa and 11% live in Europe. Nearly 13% live in the Americas. The city of Vatican, an independent city state in the heart of Rome, with 800 inhabitants and the Nauru Republic with 9,378 people, are the least populated countries in the world; while China, India, the US, Indonesia, Pakistan and Brazil comprise half of the world population.

According to the statistics, every minute some 150 people are added to the world population and with the continuation of such a trend, by the year 2050, the world population will reach 9.8 billion. The United Nations experts maintain that this increase of population will be faster in the developing countries. Hence, half of the world population growth will be in India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Indonesia and Uganda. By 2022, India will have surpassed China in terms of population.

The population growth will be particularly spectacular in Africa, and it will double in the continent. The French Institute for Demographic Studies announced: "One of the big developments ahead is the enormous population growth in Africa." While one sixth of the world population lives in Africa, this number will be one third in the next century. Despite the outbreak of AIDS, the 1.2 billion population in 2017 will reach 2.5 billion in 2050 and may reach 4.4 billion by 2100.

In its report, the UN considers the reason for the world population increase to be the increase of life expectancy in the world. Thus, life expectancy will reach 70 years in 2010 compared with 65 years in 1990, and it is most likely to reach 77 years in 2045. The UN declared reduction in child mortality is another cause of the increase of population in developing countries.

A researcher at the French Institute for Demographic Studies said: "Although overall fertility levels in the world have almost fallen, there are wide gaps in different parts of the world. In 1950, every woman had an average of five children, but this figure has 2-5 children today. Today's lowest fertility rates in Taiwan and South Korea are 1-2 children per woman and the highest fertility rate is in Niger with 3-7 children per woman. Most of the countries that still have an average fertility rate of 3 or more children per woman are the African countries. Other countries also are included in this category such as the countries of the Arabian Peninsula, Pakistan, Afghanistan and also North India. A large part of the world population growth will occur in these countries in the coming years.

Contrary to the developing countries, there are countries that have been hit hard by the negative or slow population growth. Experts warn that decrease in birth rates will accelerate the aging trend in these countries. Since the young population is one of the most important assets of every country, a number of countries consider the decline in their young population as a serious harm. In the period of 2010 to 2015, fertility in 83 countries- with 46% of the world's population- has been below the replacement level. That's why many of these countries have inserted support for childbirth in their plans to prevent the negative population growth. Such differences cause the planning of the population to alter in various countries.

In the developing countries, that face rapid increase of population and different ensuing problems, population reduction is taken into consideration. According to water.org website, 663 million people in these countries have no access to clean potable water and, in 2015, 795 million people had no sufficient food, according to the World Food Program. One ninth of people sleep hungry. 25 thousand die every day because of mal-nutrition and the diseases resulting from shortage of food of which 18 thousand are under five years of age. Following an unbridled growth of population, food production and distribution have also been limited.

The distribution of limited space among a large number of people has led to health problems, violence in families and crowds, unemployment, air pollution, social problems and clashes in different community. Nevertheless, but adds salt to the insult of these poor nations is that many of the bloody and prolonged wars in recent decades have been launched by power-hungry regimes in the world, especially the United States of America in a bid to seize their resources to quench its insatiable thirst.

Such imposed circumstances have necessitated more family planning to control the population. Family planning is a responsibility shared by both wife and husband. Observing this planning will bring about health, welfare and comfort for the family. Reducing the rate of unwanted pregnancy and deciding on the interval between pregnancies are also recommended in this regard. For this reason, some countries like China and India have constantly referred to “fertility control and fewer child" as a method to achieve a desirable situation.

In 1968 at the International Human Rights Conference family planning for childbirth was confirmed as a human right for the first time. In the concluding document of this conference, known as Tehran Declaration, it is explicitly stated that: "Parents have basic rights to determine the number of children and the interval between children to decide freely and responsibly in this regard."

To emphasize this, the UN has named this year's slogan of the world population day "Family Planning is a Human Right", so that everyone can set his own future.

Non-discrimination in the services pertaining to family planning, availability of family-owned goods and services, respect for the privacy of families and the confidentiality of their information thereof and the accountability of countries' health systems to provide family planning conditions are among the standards that the UN has emphasized for observance of what it calls as human rights of families.

Of course, many families have come to the conclusion that population growth can be both an opportunity and a threat. A population with amenities, education and welfare is an opportunity for any country, but if this population lacks amenities, increase of population can harm any system and country. Paying attention to this issue is an important factor for decision-making among families.

The last but not least is that God says in the noble Qur'an that the planet earth will suffice for both the living and the dead. So, what creates all the mentioned problems are the oppressions and injustices caused by the bullying powers spearheaded by the Great Satan, the US. Here, it would be enough to say that the 1% superrich in the United States has over 70% of the entire resources and assets of the world at their disposal.

FK/RM/ME

Jul 11, 2018 10:05 UTC
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