Population and Development

Population and development issues are inextricably linked. The world’s poorest areas often have the highest fertility rates. It’s a vicious cycle as poverty can fuel rapid population growth and rapid population growth can trap people in poverty. One in ten people still live on less than $2 a day.

Quality education, women’s empowerment, and universal access to modern contraception are powerful tools to reduce both poverty and high birth rates. When people are empowered to control their fertility and pursue careers, they choose small families.

Learn more about population and development here.

See our latest news stories and blog posts about development below.

29 May 2020

How much would it cost to end the worst gender inequalities?

A new UN report summarises last year's Nairobi Summit on ICPD25, which aimed to boost global progress on women’s rights and sexual and reproductive health. One key outcome of the meeting was its revelation that ending maternal deaths, gender-based violence and unmet family planning needs is affordable and within reach, but desperately needs more funding.

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Population Matters Magazine Spring 2020

Population Matters Magazine

Features Chris Packham's '7.7 Billion and Counting', a summary of ICPD25, Population Decomposing, and an interview with Judy Ling Wong.

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Woman fetching water
15 April 2020

Coronavirus and contraception in rural Kenya: SRH should be a priority every day

In this guest blog post, Dandelion Africa Director Wendo Aszed looks at how COVID-19 is affecting women in rural Kenya. 

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Nepalese village
3 April 2020

Millions of women have no say over what happens to their bodies

Almost half of women in 57 low- to middle-income countries have no decision-making power regarding their health, contraceptive use and sex lives, according to a new UN report.

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27 March 2020

Study: preference for small families is 'contagious'

As highly social creatures, much of what we say and do is influenced by the people close to us. A new paper examines this effect on family size and consumption behaviour and concludes that smaller families and sustainable lifestyles could be achieved by facilitating the evolution of social norms.

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Deforestation
13 March 2020

Population growth and environmental destruction fuel deadly diseases

Our growing population and resulting overexploitation of nature are facilitating the emergence and spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19.

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Liberian school girl
5 March 2020

UN report: World still largely hostile to girls

Despite some progress over the past 25 years, girls under age 18 around the world continue to face unacceptable discrimination and violence driven by deeply entrenched gender inequality, according to a new report.

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African women carrying baskets
27 February 2020

Family planning services still falling behind population growth

According to a new study, the number of women of reproductive age who wish to avoid pregnancy but who are not using any modern form of birth control is currently around 270 million and may remain this high in 2030 due to rapid population growth and slow progress in improving access.

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Contraceptives
4 February 2020

Which European countries spend the most on global family planning?

A new report shows that Europe spent a total of 845 million Euros on global sexual and reproductive health and family planning in 2018 – an overall increase of 5% compared to 2017. Most countries either increased or maintained their funding levels, yet major shortfalls and political barriers remain.

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Chris Packham
17 January 2020

Chris Packham: we need to talk about population

In a landmark and powerful documentary on the BBC, Population Matters patron Chris Packham looked at the challenges of population growth, and made an impassioned plea for it to become a core part of environmental debate.

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