July 11 is World Population Day! The idea behind its creation was the eve of our global human population surpassing 5 billion in the late 1980s. Any guesses how many people have been added to the planet since its inception? Answer: more than 2 billion. Since 1989, the United Nations has celebrated this as the day to bring awareness to challenges that impact our entire population. The theme for 2015 is “vulnerable populations in emergencies.” Currently there is an estimated 60 million people classified under refugee status, the largest such number since the end of World War II. Regardless of cause, either from war or environmental disaster, two groups remain the most vulnerable during a crisis – women and children. The overarching goal for World Population Day 2015 is to highlight the basic needs of women and children in regards to health care, safety, and education in these situations.
One of the best ways to engage with the global community on World Population Day 2015 is through the social media hashtag #WPD2015. Join a conversation and learn more about not only the pressing issues around this year’s theme, but also more about our global population as a whole. A great place to start is WorldPopulationHistory.org. Our newly launched interactive site explores human population growth from the 1CE to 2050. Discover the more than 300 milestone events that have had an impact on the trajectory of population growth, and learn what this means for the future health of society and the planet. You can even find out the total population during the year you were born! Share your discoveries with friends and family of how inventions like the flush toilet and nitrogen-based fertilizer have increased life expectancy.
And don’t forget about the newly revamped World Population “Dot” video, now streaming in 6 languages.