It's World Population Day - what should you know

Human population issues encompass ‘family planning, gender equality, poverty, maternal health, and human rights

11 Jul 2024 08:30am
Photo for illustrative purposes only - 123RF
Photo for illustrative purposes only - 123RF

SHAH ALAM - World Population Day, established by the United Nations (UN) in 1989, focuses on human population issues.

These issues include whether an increasing or decreasing population trend is concerning, with the aim of improving the quality of life for humanity.

The UN, a diplomatic and political intergovernmental organisation, strives to restore harmony and order among the involved nations.

Why is it important?

Human population issues encompass ‘family planning, gender equality, poverty, maternal health, and human rights,’ according to New Delhi Television.

While population trends impact large-scale issues, lower birth rates lead to less contribution to employment and economic growth.

Addressing smaller-scale issues such as inadequate family planning, lower gender equality, higher poverty rates, lack of maternal health and human rights can also be tackled alongside the larger population concerns.

This multifaceted approach by the UN not only raises awareness about the significance of understanding global population trends but also highlights problems rooted in systemic familial environments.

People's upbringing and environment significantly influence their lives.

Are we facing overpopulation or underpopulation?

Despite the global population increasing from 2.5 billion in 1950 to 8 billion in 2022, and projections indicating 9.7 billion by 2050, the world currently faces the challenge of underpopulation.

According to Oxford, a nation is considered underpopulated when its economy does not reach its full potential and maintains a certain standard of living due to a lack of manpower.

This is evident in countries like Japan and Eastern European nations such as Bulgaria, where emigration and low birth rates are prevalent.

In Malaysia, rural areas like Kelantan and Terengganu demonstrate how underpopulation affects regional development, leading to slower progress in employment, economics, and city growth compared to urban areas.

How do we redress the issue?

While we do not advocate for increased birth rates, as having children is a personal choice, it is crucial to shift cultural perceptions.

Educating people about the benefits of having children and the importance of adequate resources can help families prosper.

Emphasising the significance of raising children with a good education and ethical awareness can foster a culture of giving back to the family, where successful children contribute to alleviating perceived financial burdens.

These measures fall under good family planning, which becomes increasingly important as the world's population grows.

It is vital for those in power, such as governments, educational institutions and both governmental and non-governmental organisations, to leave a positive legacy for future generations.

What else should you know about World Population Day?

Although World Population Day may not be widely publicised, being aware of its existence highlights the importance of good family planning, gender equality, individual financial stability, maternal health and human rights.

Authorities and relevant ministries can play a crucial role in promoting World Population Day and ensuring that human population trends are managed with a view towards a brighter future for generations to come.