World Population Day was observed on Thursday, July 11 and this year, the focus is on teenage pregnancy.
The day was first observed in 1989, in order to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues in the context of overall development plans and programmes.
UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon stated in his 2013 message, “When we devote attention and resources to the education, health and well-being of adolescent girls, they will become an even greater force for positive change in society that will have an impact for generations to come. On this World Population Day, let us pledge to support adolescent girls to realize their potential and contribute to our shared future.”
Here are today’s Fact Friday findings:
- China is the most populous country in the world. According to World Bank statistics, the country’s population topped 1,350,695,000 in 2012. On the other hand, the Polynesian island nation of Tuvalu, formerly the Ellice Islands, has a population of just 9,860.
- Current numbers from the National Family Planning Board show that 18 per cent of live births in Jamaica are to adolescents. However, this data differs across regions: The birth rate among rural adolescent mothers is 74 per 1,000, which is above the current general rate of 72. For the South East region, it is 60 per 1,000, while the Kingston Metropolitan Area records 51 per 1,000. In other urban areas, it is 69 per 1,000.
- Jamaica has reduced its adolescent birth rate from 4.5 in 1975 to 2.4 in 2008.
- In the United States, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the rate of births to teen mothers dropped by 25 per cent, from 41.5 per 1,000 teens aged of 15 to 19 in 2007, to a record low of 31.1 births per 1,000 teens in 2011.
- Globally, about 16 million girls under age 18 give birth each year. Another 3.2 million undergo unsafe abortions.
Click here for the 2011 Population and Housing Census report.