United Nations: The world's population will reach 7 billion in five days, the UN has said as it urged the global community to seize the opportunity and invest in health and education of its youth.

Actions taken now will decide whether the future will be healthy, sustainable and prosperous or marked by inequalities, environmental decline and economic setbacks, a United Nations report has said.

"The world must seize the opportunity to invest in the health and education of its youth to reap the full benefits of future economic development or else face a continuation of the sorry state of disparities in which hundreds of millions of people in developing nations lack the most basic ingredients for a decent life," UN Population Fund (UNFPA) Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin said.

He said that planning and the right investments in people will empower them to make choices that are not only good for themselves, but also for a world of 7 billion.

The UNFPA report 'The State of World Population 2011' notes that the record population size can be viewed in many ways as a success for humanity because it means people are living longer and more children are surviving worldwide. But not everyone has benefited from this achievement or the higher quality of life that this implies, it added.

(Agencies)