Due to Nigeria’s continuous population growth, Nigeria will be part of the eight countries that will account for half the projected growth in global population by 2050. This is alongside the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, and the United Republic of Tanzania. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) revealed this information on April 19, 2023, in its 2023 State of World Population report. The UN urged that family planning must not be used as a tool for achieving fertility targets but as a tool for empowering individuals.
In the report, the United Nations stated that Global demographics are changing rapidly. Because two-thirds of people are living in low fertility contexts, these eight countries will account for half the projected growth, dramatically reordering the ranking of most populous countries in the world. The UN said in its study that greater gender parity in the labor force would do more to sustain economies in aging, low-fertility societies than setting targets for women to have more.
UN urges the media and politicians to abandon overblown narratives.
It has been revealed in new data that population anxieties are widespread and governments are consequently increasingly adopting policies aimed at raising, lowering or maintaining fertility rates. But these efforts to influence fertility rates are often ineffective. They can also erode women’s rights, according to the report. The report, titled “Billion Lives, Infinite Possibilities: the case for rights and choices,” calls for a radical rethink of how population numbers are framed. It urges politicians and the media to abandon overblown narratives about population booms and busts. Instead of asking how fast people are reproducing, leaders should shift their focus to individuals’ freedom to make their own reproductive choices, especially women. The answer to this probe is usually in the negative.
UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem says, “Women’s bodies should not be held captive to population targets.” According to the statistics, a staggering 44 percent of partnered women and girls in 68 reporting countries do not have the right to make informed decisions about their bodies when it comes to having sex, using contraception and seeking healthcare. Also, an estimated 257 million women worldwide have an unmet need for safe, reliable contraception. History has shown that fertility policies designed to increase or lower birth rates are very often ineffective and can undermine women’s rights.
Family planning should be used to empower individuals.
Many countries have rolled out programs to engineer larger families by offering financial incentives and rewards to women and their partners, yet they continue to see birth rates below two children per woman. And efforts to slow population growth through forced sterilization and coercive contraception have grossly violated human rights. The UNFPA said that family planning must not be used as a tool for achieving fertility targets. Instead, it should be used as a tool for empowering individuals.
Thus, women should be able to choose if, when and how many children they would like to have, free from the coercion of pundits and officials. The report strongly recommends that governments institute policies with gender equality and rights at their heart, such as parental leave programs, child tax credits, policies that promote gender equality in the workplace, and universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights. The UNFPA says this is a proven formula that will reap economic dividends and lead to resilient societies able to thrive no matter how populations change.
Key facts and figures from the 2023 state of world population.
According to the data, about 24 percent of partnered women and girls are unable to say no to sex and 11 percent are unable to make decisions specifically about contraception. A survey of eight countries showed that people who had been exposed to media or conversations about the world’s population were more likely to view the world as overpopulated. The organization also warned against blaming fertility for climate change as it will not hold the greatest carbon emitters to account. Out of eight billion people in the world now, about 5.5 billion do not make enough money (which is about $10 a day) to contribute significantly to carbon emissions.