State of World Population 2012

By Choice, Not by Chance - Family Planning, Human Rights and Development

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Family planning is a human right. Still, 222 million women in developing countries do not have access to contraception and are at risk of unplanned pregnancy that can cause health complications and financial hardship. The State of the World Population 2012 explains why family planning is a right that reinforces other rights, such as the right to health or the right to education. The report further documents the economic and social benefits accrued to households, communities and countries when the right to family planning is exercised by women, men and young people.

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Analysing data and trends to understand the needs

Last year, the world’s population surpassed 7 billion and it is projected to reach 9 billion by 2050. Population growth is generally highest in the poorest countries, where fertility preferences are the highest, where governments lack the resources to meet the increasing demand for services and infrastructure, where jobs growth is not keeping pace with the number of new entrants into the labour force, and where many population groups face great difficulty in accessing family planning information and services (Population Reference Bureau, 2011; UNFPA, 2011b).

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