In the News

7 Billion Reasons to Empower Women

31 October 2011
Author: UNFPA

The world's population has more than tripled since I was born in 1938. On Monday, our world's population is expected to hit the milestone of 7 billion people -- up from 2.5 billion in 1950 -- with almost all of the growth expected to happen in the cities of less developed countries. This means that the problems the world faced when I was a child are even more urgent now for my grandchildren.

If fertility rates continue at expected levels, the world's population is likely to reach 10.1 billion in the next 90 years. Based on conservative estimates, the number of people in the world should pass 8 billion in 2023, 9 billion by 2041 and 10 billion at some point after 2081.

Just take a moment to think about that. By 2100, we could have nearly 50 per cent more people on this planet than we did at the beginning of the century, competing for the same food, water, space and attention.

One of the best ways to ensure that the 7 billionth child born will live in a safe, healthy and sustainable world is to focus on what women want and need. Researchers at the Guttmacher Institute found there are 215 million women worldwide who want the ability to time and space their pregnancies, but do not have access to effective methods of contraception. Women want to be able to deliver children safely and provide for them.

Read the full commentary by Ted Turner on

Related content

NEW YORK, United States - There are fewer than 500 days left to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and too little progress has been made towards reducing maternal and child deaths. Yet simple, proven interventions can make these goals attainable, said Dr....

Globally, there were an estimated 289,000 maternal deaths in 2013, a decline of 45 per cent from 1990.


This annual report  summarizes the 2013 programmes, objectives and initiatives achieved, both globally and regionally, in 2013. 


We use cookies and other identifiers to help improve your online experience. By using our website you agree to this. To learn more, including how to change your settings, see our cookies policy.