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World Population Day – July 11, 2024
World Population Day – July 11, 2024
Wednesday, 10 July 2024

The World is Demographically Divided and Rapidly Approaching Nine Billion People

We Share the State of the Earth's Atmosphere and Prices with the World's Population

Jordanian Society is Young and Its Population Has Doubled Since the Beginning of the Millennium

Every year on July 11, World Population Day is celebrated to raise awareness of demographic changes and their relationship to sustainable development. On this occasion, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) released its 2024 State of World Population report, titled "Threads of Hope: Ending Inequalities in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights."

This year, the theme "Embracing the Power of Comprehensive Data for a Resilient and Equitable Future for All" was chosen to emphasize the crucial importance of reliable and comprehensive data to ensure progress for everyone, in line with achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action. The UNFPA estimates that every dollar invested in enhancing data systems yields economic benefits worth $32. However, less than 30% of UN member states have the necessary data to monitor progress on half of the SDG indicators, highlighting the importance of improving the quality and availability of comprehensive, disaggregated data to ensure effective policy and program guidance and leave no one behind in development.

Dr. Issa Al-Masaroa, Secretary-General of the Higher Population Council, stated that our planet's population has exceeded eight billion and is heading towards nine billion, which is expected to occur within 12 years, by 2036, if the current annual increase of around 83 million people continues, almost all of whom are in developing countries, while the population of developed countries is declining.

Dr. Al-Masaroa added that our world is demographically divided, as follows:

  1. 84% of the Earth's population lives in developing countries, while only 16% live in developed countries.
  2. The birth rate in developing countries is twice that of developed countries (18 births compared to 9 births per 1,000 people).
  3. The recent annual increase of 83 million in the world population occurred entirely in developing countries, while the population of developed countries decreased by about 3 million due to a higher death rate than birth rate (12 deaths compared to 9 births per 1,000 people); the corresponding statistics in developing countries are 8 deaths compared to 18 births per 1,000 people annually.
  4. The percentage of elderly people (65+ years) exceeds the percentage of children under 15 years old in developed countries, with the elderly making up 20% compared to 16% for children; the opposite is true in developing countries, where the percentage of children significantly exceeds the percentage of elderly (27% compared to 8%). In Jordan, there are 9 children under 15 years old for every one elderly person aged 65+.

Dr. Al-Masaroa mentioned that the proportion of widowed women is high because females in all societies tend to live longer than males, and men often marry younger women, making the likelihood of a wife becoming widowed higher. This results in a higher proportion of widows among women. In Jordan, for example, 27% of women aged 50 and over are widows compared to only 3% of their male counterparts. Additionally, widowed men in Jordan often remarry, resulting in a lower proportion of widowers compared to widows.

Dr. Al-Masaroa stressed that the increase in the world's population concerns all countries. Like others, we in Jordan share with the rest of the world the Earth's atmospheric envelope, environmental warming, and climate change, as well as the prices we pay for what we consume, especially essential goods we import such as energy sources, grains, and oils. The various effects of population increases on shared aspects between us and the rest of the world are evident.

Returning to our homeland, Jordan, Dr. Al-Masaroa explained that Jordan's population has doubled recently in less than twenty years, increasing by 6 million people between the 2004 census (when the population was about 5.6 million) and 2024 (where the population today is 11.6 million according to the population clock on the Department of Statistics website). This rapid growth was driven by births and the arrival of refugees, with about 2.7 million births recorded between 2010-2022, averaging one million births every 5 years. The number of refugees in Jordan is increasing faster than the number of Jordanians due to higher early marriage and birth rates among refugees.

Dr. Al-Masaroa added that Jordanian society is young, with 40% of the population under 18 years old (numbering 4.6 million). This indicates a rapid increase in the coming years in:

  • The number of new families
  • Housing needs
  • Water and other basic needs
  • The size of cultivated and agricultural lands lost each year
  • The number of births
  • The number of school-aged children
  • Job seekers
  • The number of drivers and vehicles, leading to traffic congestion

This is especially significant as 92% of the population resides in Jordan's central and northern governorates (63.5% in the central governorates and 28.5% in the governorates of the north). Three-quarters live in just three governorates Amman, Irbid, and Zarqa. Mafraq governorate ranks fourth in population and has the highest percentage of Syrian refugees among its residents, not in absolute numbers. Only 8% of Jordan's population lives in the country's southern half across its four governorates.

On this occasion, the Higher Population Council published a page on its website about demographic indicators in Jordan as of mid-2024. You can access it through the following link: https://2u.pw/WCJyd1P8