July 11 – World Population Day

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On this day in 1987, the World’s population reached 5 billion. 5,000,000,000 people. This is a captain obvious statement, but that is a LOT of people. It makes you feel small and insignificant just thinking about it, although personally my brain is unable to handle and properly comprehend that amount of people anyway. As of about this time last year, the population of Earth was estimate to be over 7 billion people, which is astounding and terrifying. Here ( http://www.7billionworld.com ) you can view what 7 billion figures look like in one space – it’s humbling. The day of the 5 billion inspired the UN’s World Population Day, a day made to raise awareness about global population issues.

This years focus is on adolescent pregnancy. In developing countries, 19 in every 100 girls under the age of 18 give birth. About 16 million girls under 18 give birth every year and 3.2 million undergo unsafe abortions. As a young woman the mere thought that anyone close to my age has to give birth is absolutely horrifying and makes me want to run away and bury myself in a hole. While a large majority of these girls giving birth at such a young are married, it still isn’t right, as it is often consequence of a violation of their rights in one way or another.

It’s easy to view our race in a negative light, for there is so much we still need to do, so many mistakes to be fixed. I’m not saying we should ignore the issues of the world – the one mentioned above, and many others like it, should be brought to everyones attention, and should be fixed. However we should take some time to think about how amazingly far we have come as a race. How we continue to expand and survive. This is displayed really well visually at the gapminder website, here: http://www.gapminder.org . Click on the Gapminder Word page, where you will find a graph that plots countries wealth and health statistics, starting at 1800 and with a click of a play button the dot points move with the years, and you will see how each and every nation has improved dramatically over the years. Some more than others, yes, but all are better off. You can look at heaps of other data, including CO2 emissions per country, population, people effected by various natural disasters etc.

One final thought: Even if you’re one in a million, there are still 7000 people just like you.

~ Darcie Rae

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