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World Population Day

The United Nations' (UN) World Population Day is annually observed on July 11 to reaffirm the human right to plan for a family. It encourages activities, events, and information to help make this right a reality throughout the world.

Family planning is an important topic raised during World Population Day.
Family planning is an important topic raised during World Population Day.
Illustration based on artwork from ©iStockphoto.com/Julien Bastide

What Do People Do?

World Population Day aims to increase people’s awareness about various population issues such as the importance of family planning, gender equality, poverty, maternal health, and human rights. The day is celebrated worldwide by business groups, community organizations, and individuals in many ways. Activities include seminar discussions, educational information sessions, and essay competitions.

Public Life

World Population Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

In 1968 world leaders proclaimed that individuals had a basic human right to determine freely and responsibly the number and timing of their children. About 40 years later modern contraception remains out of reach for millions of women, men, and young people. World Population Day was instituted in 1989 as an outgrowth of the Day of Five Billion, marked on July 11, 1987. The UN authorized the event as a vehicle to build an awareness of population issues and the impact they have on development and the environment.

Since then, with the United Nations Population Fund's (UNFPA) encouragement, governments, non-governmental organizations, institutions, and individuals organize various educational activities to celebrate the annual event.

Symbols

The UN logo is often associated with marketing and promotional material for this event. It features a projection of a world map (less Antarctica) centered on the North Pole, enclosed by olive branches. The olive branches symbolize peace and the world map represents all the people of the world. It has been featured in colors such as blue against a yellow background.

World Population Day Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2010SunJul 11World Population DayUnited Nations observance
2011MonJul 11World Population DayUnited Nations observance
2012WedJul 11World Population DayUnited Nations observance
2013ThuJul 11World Population DayUnited Nations observance
2014FriJul 11World Population DayUnited Nations observance
2015SatJul 11World Population DayUnited Nations observance
2016MonJul 11World Population DayUnited Nations observance
2017TueJul 11World Population DayUnited Nations observance
2018WedJul 11World Population DayUnited Nations observance
2019ThuJul 11World Population DayUnited Nations observance
2020SatJul 11World Population DayUnited Nations observance

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