World Population Day – 11 July

Jul 2019

The Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme established the World Population Day in 1989 as a tool to increase awareness of global population issues.

Current UN data provides an estimation of 83 million people being added to the world’s population every year. Without an effective management of resources used by the population, there is a chance to exhaust our natural resources rather soon. Countries such as China, India, Pakistan, South Korea, and the US have developed different policies which would help to manage their growing populations together with how the resources are used to allow the growing population to lead a sustainable lifestyle.

The keyword is sustainability.

Here are the three main points about World Population Day and population trends you should know:

  1. The current population trends possess an increasing divergence across countries and regions. Many poorer countries experience rapid population growth which is hard to maintain, while those who are more advanced experience rapid population aging and population decline.
  2. Migration patterns are becoming increasingly complex. Within countries, states experience high rates of urbanisation due to the mobility of people and desire to work.
  3. Population growth affects the resources of the planet negatively. Rapid population growth exerts pressure which affects the rate of climate change and environmental sustainability.

The case of Afghanistan

The current population of Afghanistan is estimated by the UN to be 38,066,564 experiencing a 2.5% annual change in the population. This data is speculative, since an official census has not been released since 1979, when it was estimated at 15.5 million. The estimation places Afghanistan to be the 37th most populous country in the world, just behind Canada.

In contradiction with most developing countries, most Afghans are concentrated in rural areas. Kabul, the capital city of Afghanistan, estimates its population at 3.1 million, which approximates to 10% of the whole population. The second largest city is Kandahar with under 400,000 people. Most migration patterns seen in Afghanistan are not in line with those seen in other countries, since there is no particular desire to increase urbanisation by facilitating internal migration due to the tribal and kinship model.

Two of the main issues plaguing the growing population is access to clean drinking water and improved sanitation. By 2015, only 55% of the population were able to access clean drinking water. Lack of education also affects the desire to relocate – UNESCO estimates that only 38.2% of the population over the age of 15 were literate (52% of males and 24% of females).

The main reason for high population growth in Afghanistan – tradition. Large families with a male as a source of respect are key, since having a larger family allows to have more influence and a larger workforce. In 2016, the World Bank estimates to have 4.64 births per Afghan woman as the fertility rate.

It is clear that tradition, rate of urbanisation and development affects the population growth. However, it is important to remember that without sustainable development of these populations within different regions and countries, there is a high risk of deplenishing natural resources.

Action for Development remains actively involved in improving the life of the Afghan population. Through educating and providing resources with the help of our various projects, we increase the sustainability and quality of life for the population. By supporting our initiative, you can also help to make life in Afghanistan more sustainable.

Please take some time to obtain more information about our projects and how you can help on actfordev.org!

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