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World Population Day

Posted on Jul 11, 2019
World Population Day

World Population Day

Today is World Population Day, an annual event held on July 11th every year seeking to raise awareness of the urgency and importance of global population issues.  


It took over 200,000 years of human history for the world's population to reach 1 billion; and only 200 years more to reach 7 billion. Global population is on an upward trajectory, but our burgeoning population comes with many pressing issues and challenges that are affecting a lot of our earth’s problems.


While environmental, resource's and health care could be pushed to an even further limit, it is urban populations in developed countries that will experience the biggest challenges. Between now and 2050 urban populations could increase by 130 million.


How can so many people live comfortably, equitably and sustainably together? How can we make the space we live, work, and play serve more people at once?


When we often describe home, we generally describe an area, a neighbourhood as well as the house we live in. Whilst you will hear us often campaigning for better cycling infrastructure, there is still a long way to go to meet the global population growth. Unless we rethink our whole community, our cities will become increasingly unsustainable, socially unequal and frankly dangerous. 


Learn more - 10 facts about world population


  1. There are currently more people in the world living in urban areas, over rural.

55% of the world’s population currently live in urban areas, a percentage that is expected to grow to 68% by 2050.


  1. The world is ageing as people over 60-years-old make up 12.3% of the global population.


  1. It is estimated that every second there are 4.3 births and 1.8 deaths.

In a whole, this equates to an increase of 2.5 people per second to the global population.


  1. The greater Tokyo metropolitan area has a population of an expected 37 million.

This means that the Greater Tokyo area is home to 25% of Japan’s population, making it the most populous metropolitan area in the world.


  1. In 1800 only 3% of the global population lived in cities.

By the end of the 20th century this percentage had risen to 47% and now has significantly grown with over half of the global population living in urban areas.


  1. It is estimated that 108 billion people have lived throughout history.


  1. In 1900, there were only 12 cities around the world with a population of more than one million people. Now there are 400 cities worldwide with a population of one million or above, and 19 cities with populations exceeding 10 million people.


  1. In 2014, the number of mobile phones in the world overtook the number of people.

There are a registered number of 8.9 billion connected mobile phones, meaning that there are almost 1 billion more mobile phones than there are people in the world.


  1. The world population is growing at a rate of just over 1% a year, with the number of people over 60 growing at 3% per year.


  1. 52% of the world’s population is under 30-years-old.