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Press Release - World Population Day 2011

MALE', MALDIVES, 11 July 2011-As humans reach 7 billion, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, highlights the critical role population play in shaping our future.

Growing population, declining fertility, rising mobility and a changing age structure pose profound challenges to Maldives, but also opportunities. 

The population has more than doubled since 1977. The population projection for 2025 stands at over 400,000 without expatriates. Today, for every 3 Maldivian there is 1 foreigner. The population of Maldives will continue to grow, the largest-ever generation of young people are entering their reproductive years. The 15 to 24 year olds account for 1/4 of the population.   To meet the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities, Maldives needs to invest in today's young people.

Maldivians born today live almost 20 years longer that those born in the 1980s and the population is increasingly urban. In Male' more than 100,000 live on 2 square kilometres, the highest population density in the world.

"We have an opportunity and responsibility to invest in adolescents and youth," states UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin. "With the right policies, investments and social support, young people can enjoy healthier lives free of poverty and enhance prospects for peace and stability."

11 July, World Population Day, starts a campaign that runs until 31 October 2011, when the United Nations projects world population will reach 7 billion.

UNFPA Maldives partners with many youth organisations, non government organisations, media and the government to organize a variety of activities to highlight challenges and opportunities in a world of 7 billion The campaign culminate by marking the birth of the symbolic "7 billionth baby" in Maldives.

The campaign addresses seven key themes; all vital to the development of the Maldives: poverty and inequality; the rights of women and girls; young people; reproductive health and rights; the environment; ageing; and urbanization.

To learn more about the global 7 Billion Actions campaign, visit www.7billionactions.com. News about upcoming activities can be found at UNFPA webpage: https://maldives.unfpa.org/.

For more information, contact:
Shadiya Ibrahim at ibrahim@unfpa.org