United Nations – World Population Day 11th July 2021

Some facts and figures…. It took hundreds of thousands of years for the world population to grow to 1 billion – then in just another 200 years or so, it grew sevenfold. In 2011, the global population reached the 7 billion mark. A global movement “7 Billion Actions” was launched to mark this milestone. Today, it stands at about 7.7 billion, and it’s expected to grow to around 8.5 billion in 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050, and 10.9 billion in 2100. Wow! This dramatic growth has been driven largely by increasing numbers of people surviving to reproductive age and has been accompanied by major changes in fertility rates. In the early 1970s, women had on average 4.5 children each; by 2015, total fertility for the world had fallen to below 2.5 children per woman. Meanwhile, average global lifespans have risen, from 64.6 years in the early 1990s to 72.6 years in 2019.

There has also been a huge increase in city dwelling and accelerating migration. 2007 was the first year in which more people lived in urban areas than in rural areas, and by 2050 about 66 per cent of the world population will be living in cities. There are also continuing wars and conflicts and many people severely affected by climate change. These trends will have far reaching implications for generations to come. They affect economic development, employment, income distribution, poverty and social protections. They also affect efforts to ensure universal access to health care, education, housing, sanitation, water, food and energy. To more sustainably address the needs of individuals, policymakers must understand how many people are living on the planet, where they are, how old they are, and how many people will come after them. To see more facts and figures, and interactive maps and charts, please visit the world population dashboard at World Population Dashboard | UNFPA – United Nations Population Fund Maria Boys.

During recent months Bitterne United Reformed Church has been displaying a rainbow as a tribute to the NHS and all the key workers who continue to support us during these difficult times.  The heart in the cloud is symbolic of a dear friend and member who has passed away.  The Cross symbolises our faith and following in the Christian way.  The words have changed on a weekly basis, but now remain as ‘with hope in our hearts’.