A Population of 7 Billion

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On Monday, October 31, the world’s population will reach and surpass seven billion. By some estimates, the population will be over 10 billion by the end of the century. This year’s State of the World’s Population from UNFPA addresses the needs of a growing population:

This year’s State of World Population report, People and Possibilities in a World of 7 Billion, looks at the the dynamics behind the numbers. It explains the trends that are defining our world of 7 billion and documents actions that people in vastly different countries and circumstances are taking in their own communities to make the most of their–and our–world.

The report makes the case for sound planning and investing in people.

The UK Department for International Development (DFID) is also marking the milestone by ensuring that families have access to family planning methods and that women have control over their bodies:

The lack of choice women and girls have over their own lives and bodies is a major cause of poverty and contributes to rapid population growth.

For the millions of girls who are still children themselves, pregnancy means giving up school and the chance of an education that would allow them to support themselves and their families.

Today, 215 million women who would like to delay or avoid having children are unable to do so. Globally meeting this need for family planning could avoid around a third of maternal deaths and a fifth of newborn deaths, and save an estimated $5.1 billion dollars.

Over the next four years, British aid is changing lives by making it possible for at least 10 million more women to use modern methods of family planning so that they can decide for themselves whether, when and how many children to have.