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7 Billion Actions

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Title: 7 Billion Actions  
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Subject: United Nations Population Fund, MDG Achievement Fund, Physiological density, Population and Environment, Overshoot (population)
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7 Billion Actions

7 Billion Actions Campaign
Motto 7 Billion People Counting on Each Other
Formation 2011
Headquarters New York City
  • Global
Official language English
Key people Babatunde Osotimehin (Executive Director, UNFPA)

7 Billion Actions is a worldwide campaign established by the poverty, gender equality, youth, ageing, urbanization, environment, and reproductive health and rights. The UN has declared the World Population surpassing 7 billion on 31 October 2011.[2][3] Prior to this date, the UN celebrated the Day of Six Billion in October 1999.

Day of Seven Billion

Estimated and projected populations of the world and its continents (except Antarctica) from 1950. The shaded regions correspond to range of projections by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
Estimated and projected populations of the world and its continents (except Antarctica) from 1950. The shaded regions correspond to range of projections by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

The Day of Seven Billion, October 31, 2011, is the day that has been officially designated by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) as the approximate day on which the total world population reached a population of seven billion people.[4] United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon spoke at the United Nations building in New York City on this milestone in the size of world population about the issues that it will raise, along with promoting 7 Billion Actions.[2][5]


Population Year Years elapsed since
previous milestone
1 billion 1804 ––
2 billion 1927 123 123
3 billion 1959 32 32
4 billion 1974 15 15
5 billion 1987 13 13
6 billion 1999 12 12
7 billion 2012 13 13
8 billion 2026 14 14
9 billion 2042 16 16
World population milestones (USCB estimates)

The world had already reached a population of five billion on July 11, 1987,[6] and six billion twelve years later on October 12, 1999.[7]

United Nations Population Fund spokesman Omar Gharzeddine disputed the date of the Day of Six Billion by stating, "The U.N. marked the '6 billionth' [person] in 1999, and then a couple of years later the Population Division itself reassessed its calculations and said, actually, no, it was in 1998."[8]

Choice of date

According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division, October 31, 2011 was a symbolic date chosen based on data interpolated from its 5-year-period estimates. The estimates were based on data sources such as censuses, surveys, vital and population registers, and published every other year as part of its World Population Prospects.

The actual date that the world population reached 7 billion has an error margin of around 12 months owing to inaccuracies in demographic statistics, particularly in some developing countries (even the world's best censuses have 1–2% error). Assuming a 1% global error margin, the 7 billion world population had been reached as early as March 20, 2011 or as late as April 12, 2012.[9]

However, the International Programs Division of the United States Census Bureau estimated that total world population had not reach 7 billion until sometime on March 12, 2012.[10] It also offered an estimate that differed by about three months from the UN estimate for the Day of Six Billion.[11]

The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis estimated a date between February 2012 and July 2014.[12]

Seven billionth person

United Nations Population Fund spokesman Omar Gharzeddine said, "There's no way that the U.N. or anyone could know where or at what minute on the 31st the 7 billionth baby will be born," and the United Nations is not giving official status to this and similar publicity efforts.[8] Nevertheless several newborns were selected by various groups to represent the seven billionth person:

On the Day of Seven Billion, the group Plan International symbolically marked the birth of the 7 billionth human with a ceremony in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh where a birth certificate was presented to a newly born baby girl, Nargis Kumar,[13] in order to protest sex-selective abortion in the state. The Indian girl to boy ratio for 0–6-year-olds is at 914 girls per 1000 boys nationwide, with Uttar Pradesh's one of the lowest at 889 girls for every thousand boys.[14]

Other babies selected include Danica May Camacho, born in the Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital, Manila, Philippines just before midnight on the eve of the Day of Seven Billion,[15] and Wattalage Muthumai, of Colombo, Sri Lanka.[16]

Campaign goals

The 7 Billion Actions Campaign aims to raise awareness around key population issues such as reproductive health, poverty, women empowerment, youth, environment sustainability, ageing, and urbanization, by encouraging people to take actions and recommit to humanity.

The campaign will count and showcase 7 billion online and offline actions that tell the story of the people behind the number and the connections they share with each other and the issues they each face.

7 key issues

The 7 Billion Actions Campaign centers around highlighting individuals and organizations making significant impact and creating innovative solutions in the 7 key issues identified as most imperative for the growing global population.[17]

  1. Poverty and Inequality: Breaking the Cycle
    "Reducing poverty and inequality also slows population growth."
  2. Women and Girls: Empowerment and Progress
    "Investing in the power of women and girls will accelerate progress on all fronts."
  3. Young People: Forging the Future
    "Energetic and open to new technologies, history’s largest and most interconnected population of young people is transforming global politics and culture."
  4. Reproductive Health and Rights: The Facts of Life
    "Ensuring that every child is wanted and every childbirth safe leads to smaller and stronger families."
  5. Environment: Healthy Planet, Healthy People
    "Demands for water, trees, food and fossil fuels will only increase as world population grows to 7 billion and beyond."
  6. Ageing: An Unprecedented Challenge
    "Lower fertility and longer life expectancy add up to a new challenge worldwide: ageing populations."
  7. Urbanization: Planning for Growth
    "The next two billion people will live in cities, so we need to plan for them now."

Main campaign components Showcases stories, interviews, and news. In-depth platform to help individuals connect and take action with efforts taking place near them or across the globe. Interactive data visualizations highlighting challenges and solutions.

I Count: An online and SMS/mobile effort allowing anyone on Earth to step forward to be counted as one of the 7 billion and share what issues matters most to them. These are but a few of the important resources being created to facilitate connection and collaboration.

World Story Book: A community-created collection of photos, text, audio, and video that tell the stories of struggle and success of the people behind the number.

7Billion Hashtag (#7Billion): An ongoing social media conversation on Twitter, Facebook, and other major social media platforms (representing each major region) designed to help fuel awareness, engagement, and participation.

Corporate, NGO, and media partnerships

IBM: As a way to celebrate their 100th anniversary, IBM is launching its Global Celebration of Service, a worldwide volunteer service initiative which calls for staff to donate their time and energy for specific social causes. 7 Billion Actions will be presented as one of the official programs which staff can support.[18] As part of the new partnership, IBM volunteers will contribute their engineering, marketing, communications, social media and analytics expertise to help build the 7 Billion Actions campaign platform.[19]

crowdSPRING: crowdSPRING launched a series of design competitions to crowd source the official logo for the 7 Billion Actions Campaign. The first round of the competition drew over one thousand submissions and the winning design will become the 7 Billion Action Campaign's official global logo. The next phase will open voting to the public in order to select a group of regionally themed logos.[20]

National Geographic: This partnership includes special feature in each 2011 issue, traveling photography exhibit, videos, the Happy 7 Billionth Baby project, and other related initiatives.

Blog Talk Radio: Using their telephone-to-internet platform, the 7 Billion Actions Campaign will launch the [Conversations for a World at 7 Billion channel to showcase a variety of audio programs discussing the topics and themes facing the 7 billion. People in different countries and regions will have the opportunity listen to and call into these programs and share their stories and actions.[21]

Playing for Change: The non-profit group the Playing for Change Foundation will partner with 7 Billion Actions to produce an official campaign song.


February 26–27, 2011 Social Media Bootcamp A gathering of leaders from media, corporations, NGOs, universities, and grassroots organizations laid the foundations for 7 Billion Actions, focusing primarily on the social media aspects of the campaign.[22]
July 11, 2011 World Population Day 7 Billion Actions launched a number of online and offline initiatives to celebrate World Population Day, which was established by the United Nations Development Programme in 1989.[23]
October 24, 2011 United Nations Day On October 24, 2011 the 7 Billion Actions Campaign launched a 7-day countdown leading up to the birth of the 7 billionth baby on October 31.
October 31, 2011 Projected Birthday of the 7 Billionth Baby Events of the 7-day countdown culminated with the launch of 2011’s State of World Population report, which analyzes challenges and opportunities presented by a world of 7 billion.[2]


  1. ^ "United Nations Population Fund". UNFPA. Retrieved 2011-10-26. 
  2. ^ a b c "World Population to Reach 7 Billion on 31 October". 2011-05-03. Retrieved 2013-10-31. 
  3. ^ Gillis, Justin; Dugger, Celia W. (2011-05-03). "U.N. Forecasts 10.1 Billion People by Century's End". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ World Population Prospects, the 2008 Revision Frequently Asked Questions Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat updated 10 November 2010. Retrieved 26 January 2011
  5. ^ "About 7 Billion Actions". 7 Billion Actions. Retrieved 16 October 2011. 
  6. ^ "And Baby Makes Five Billion:U.N. Hails a Yugoslav Infant". New York Times. July 12, 1987. Retrieved October 16, 2011. 
  7. ^ Lederer, Edith (October 12, 1999). "World Population hits 6 Billion". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 16, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b Alan Boyle, Science Editor, NBC News (2011-10-28). "Cosmic Log – 7 billion people? How do they know?". Retrieved 2013-10-31. 
  9. ^ "How do we know that the world population reaches 7 billion on October 31, 2011?". Retrieved 2013-10-31. 
  10. ^ "World Population Clock". 
  11. ^ Brunner, Borgna. "Population hits Six Billion". Retrieved October 16, 2011. 
  12. ^ "The Uncertain Timing of Reaching 7 Billion and Peak Population" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-10-31. 
  13. ^ "'"India welcomes 'world's seven billionth baby. BBC News. October 31, 2011. Retrieved October 31, 2011. 
  14. ^ "Baby 7 Billion: Countdown begins for a girl in India". Reuters NewsAlert. October 14, 2011. Retrieved October 16, 2011. 
  15. ^ Coleman, Jasmine (2011-10-31). "World's 'seven billionth baby' is born". London:  
  16. ^ "Seven billionth child born in SL | Caption Story". 2011-10-31. Retrieved 2012-10-05. 
  17. ^ "7 Billion People". 7 Billion Actions. Retrieved 2011-10-26. 
  18. ^ "As the World Population Grows to 7 Billion, IBM Volunteers Partner with UNFPA to bring Social Awareness to Citizens Worldwide | A Smarter Planet Blog". Retrieved 2011-10-26. 
  19. ^ "Joins Forces with IBM in Setting up 7 Billion Actions Campaign Platform". UNFPA. 2011-06-14. Retrieved 2011-10-26. 
  20. ^ a logo project by UNFPA7BillionActions. "Design brief: Logo for United Nations Population Fund 7 Billi". Retrieved 2011-10-26. 
  21. ^ "7Billion Online Radio by 7Billion". Blog Talk Radio. Retrieved 2011-10-26. 
  22. ^ Comment by Somebody (2011-04-21). "digital media to boost the world @ 7 billion campaign". digitalmissive. Retrieved 2011-10-26. 
  23. ^  

External links

  • Official 7 Billion Actions page
  • Facebook page
  • Twitter account
  • BlogTalkRadio Channel
  • UNFPA official website
  • National Geographic 7 Billion Page
  • 7 Billion Actions homepage
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