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, and 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.
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, increasing urbanization and accelerating migration. These trends will have far-reaching implications for generations to come.
The world is seeing high levels of urbanization 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% of the world population will be living in cities. These megatrends 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.
Despite constitutional guarantees of gender equality in many countries, worldwide, on average, women enjoy just 75% of the legal rights of men. Only 55% of women have the power to make their own decisions about their bodies should be a wake-up call to governments, policymakers and development institutions. The best way to ensure sustainable development is to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, and every young person's potential is fulfilled. (source: un.org)
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