World Population Day 2024: “Leave No One Behind, Count Everyone”

World Population Day 2024

World Population Day, observed annually on July 11, serves as a global reminder to focus on population-related issues and their impact on society. This year’s theme, “Leave No One Behind, Count Everyone,” emphasizes the critical importance of inclusive data collection. By ensuring that everyone is fairly represented in population counts, regardless of background, nationality, geography, or socioeconomic standing, we can drive progress and address key challenges.

India’s Youthful Population and Resource Exploitation

India, the world’s second-most populous country, is dominated by its youthful population. However, despite this demographic advantage, are all citizens receiving essential services and facilities? As the population grows, resource exploitation intensifies, leading to economic inequality, hunger, malnutrition, unemployment, inflation, drug addiction, crime, adulteration, and corruption. Many individuals remain excluded from government schemes and services, contributing to rising suicide rates.

The Numbers: India’s Population and Debt

As of July 1, 2024, India’s population stands at a staggering 1,441,696,095, representing 17.76% of the world’s total population. Meanwhile, the country grapples with a mounting debt of Rs 205 lakh crore. Over the past decade, this debt has surged by 150 lakh crores, a significant increase from the Rs 17 lakh crore debt recorded in 2004.

Education and Corruption Rankings

India’s quality of education ranks 90th globally, according to the World Economic Forum Report 2021. Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index 2023 places India at 93rd out of 180 countries. These rankings highlight areas where improvements are needed to ensure better opportunities for all citizens.

Slum Population and Unemployment Challenges

India’s slum population accounts for approximately 6.5 crores (17% of urban India and 5.4% of the total population). In 2011, Maharashtra had 1.18 crores of slum dwellers, followed by Andhra Pradesh with about 1.02 crores. Amidst population growth, India faces a pressing need to create 11.5 crore jobs over the next five years. Despite being a young nation, unemployment remains a significant concern. The recent “India Employment Report 2024” by the Institute of Human Development and the International Labour Organization reveals that 83% of India’s unemployed workforce comprises youth. Moreover, the share of educated youth (with secondary or higher education) in total unemployment has nearly doubled from 35.2% in 2000 to 65.7% in 2022.

World Population Day 2024

Moving Forward

To address these challenges, India must prioritize inclusive data collection, job creation, and educational reforms. By counting everyone and leaving no one behind, we can build a stronger, more equitable society where every citizen can reach their full potential.