World Population Day

World Population Day:

  • World Population Day is celebrated on 11 July annually to make people aware about the growing population issues and urgency of family planning. 


  • This day of World Population Day seeks to bring attention on the urgency and importance of population related issues. It was established by the then-Governing Council of the UNDP in 1989. It was an outgrowth of the interest generated by the Day of Five Billion, which was observed on 11 July 1987.
  • United Nations General Assembly decided to continue observing World Population Day, by resolution 45/216 of December 1990, to enhance awareness of population issues, including their relations to the environment and development.
  • More than 90 countries observed the first celebration of World Population Day marked on 11 July 1990. Since then, a number of a number of UNFPA country offices and other organizations and institutions commemorate World Population Day, in partnership with governments and civil society.

Key facts:

  • At the dawn of agriculture, about 8000 B.C., the population of the world was approximately 5 million. Over the 8,000-year period up to 1 A.D. it grew to 200 million (some estimate 300 million or even 600, suggesting how imprecise population estimates of early historical periods can be), with a growth rate of under 0.05% per year.
  • A tremendous change occurred with the industrial revolution: whereas it had taken all of human history until around 1800 for world population to reach one billion, the second billion was achieved in only 130 years (1930), the third billion in 30 years (1960), the fourth billion in 15 years (1974), and the fifth billion in only 13 years (1987).
  • During the 20th century alone, the population in the world has grown from 1.65 billion to 6 billion.
  • In 1970, there were roughly half as many people in the world as there are now.
  • Because of declining growth rates, it will now take over 200 years to double again.

Growth Rate:

  • Population in the world is currently (2018-2019) growing at a rate of around 1.07% per year (down from 1.09% in 2018, 1.12% in 2017 and 1.14% in 2016). The current average population increase is estimated at 82 million people per year.
  • Annual growth rate reached its peak in the late 1960s, when it was at around 2%. The rate of increase has nearly halved since then, and will continue to decline in the coming years. It is estimated to reach 1% by 2023, less than 0.5% by 2052, and 0.25% in 2076 (a yearly addition of 27 million people to a population of 10.7 billion). In 2100, it should be only 0.09%, or an addition of only 10 million people to a total population of 11.2 billion.
  • World population will therefore continue to grow in the 21st century, but at a much slower rate compared to the recent past. World population has doubled (100% increase) in 40 years from 1959 (3 billion) to 1999 (6 billion). It is now estimated that it will take another nearly 40 years to increase by another 50% to become 9 billion by 2037.



Most populous countries in the world:

  • China remains the most populous country in the world with 1.4 billion inhabitants (18.4 per cent of world population) followed by India with 1.3 billion inhabitants (17.7 per cent of world population).
  • Together these two countries account for 2.79 billion people or 36.15 per cent of the world population.
  • The United States (329 Million) is the third most populous country followed by Indonesia (269 million), Brazil (212 million), Pakistan (204 million), Nigeria (200 million), Bangladesh (168 million), Russia (143 million) and Mexico (132 million).

World population by religion:

  • As per a demographic analysis by Pew research centre, nearly one in every three people in the world is a Christian.
  • Around 31 per cent of the world's population follows Christianity.
  • Nearly one in every four people in the world is a Muslim accounting for 24 per cent of the world's population.
  • Followed by Hinduism (15 per cent), Buddhism (6.9 per cent), Folk religion (5.7 per cent), and other religions (0.8 per cent) while only 0.2 per cent of the world's population follows Judaism
  • As per the same report, 16 per cent population of the world is not affiliated to any religion.


Population by Region: