World Population Day, which seeks to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues, was established by the then-Governing Council of the United Nations Development Program in 1989, an outgrowth of the interest generated by the Day of Five Billion, which was observed on 11 July 1987.
By resolution 45/216 of December 1990, the United Nations General Assembly decided to continue observing World Population Day to enhance awareness of population issues, including their relations to the environment and development.
The Day was first marked on 11 July 1990 in more than 90 countries. Since then, a number of a number of UNFPA country offices and other organizations and institutions commemorate World Population Day, in partnership with governments and civil society.
Around the world, some 225 million women who want to avoid pregnancy are not using safe and effective family planning methods, for reasons ranging from lack of access to information or services to lack of support from their partners or communities. Most of these women with an unmet demand for contraceptives live in 69 of the poorest countries on earth.
Access to safe, voluntary family planning is a human right. It is also central to gender equality and women's empowerment, and is a key factor in reducing poverty. Investments in making family planning available also yields economic and other gains that can propel development forward.
In 2017 World Population Day, 11 July, coincides with the Family Planning Summit, the second meeting of the FP2020–Family Planning 2020–initiative, which aims to expand access to voluntary family planning to 120 million additional women by 2020.