I dag udkom FNs årlige befolkningsrapport State of the World Population 2011.¹ Det er UNFPA, United Nations Population Fund, som står udgivelsen, og med undertitlen People and Possibilities in a World of 7 Billion ser den på, hvilket potentiale, der ligger i de mange nye kræfter, som i disse år kommer til verden.
I en kommentar til udgivelsen siger UNFPAs leder Babatunde Osotimehin: “The issue of population is a critical one for our humanity and for the Earth. But let us be clear: It is not a matter of space. The population question is one of equity, opportunity and social justice.”
“Our report … shows that the challenges ahead are formidable. It contains snapshots from nine countries, where ordinary people, national demographic experts, and policymakers talk about the challenges they face and how they are confronting them.”
Han identificerer derefter en række globale tendenser:
- Educating and empowering girls and women allow them to have fewer children than their mothers and grandmothers did, and they choose this path whenever and wherever they can.
- We must consistently involve boys and men, for they are the critical partners we require for health and development.
- In countries with high population growth and low incomes, such as sub-Saharan Africa, many adolescent girls and women cannot determine their fertility, with population outstripping economic growth and the ability of health services to serve their people.´
- In many middle income countries where population growth has stabilized, issues of urbanization and migration factor heavily into population dynamics.
- In many European countries, Japan and elsewhere, fertility has fallen below the replacement level. Governments in these countries are challenged by shortages of labour and productivity, which potentially threaten the quality of life for the ageing generations.
“With these trends in mind, we must ask which actions we can take today that will chart a path towards sustainable social and economic development and prepare the world going forward.”