Population and families

Choosing a small family is one of the most effective actions we can take to help protect the environment and future generations.

Read our latest news stories and blog posts on family size below.

11 November 2018

What do declining global fertility rates really mean?

A new study has highlighted how fertility rates have declined over the last generation. There are no significant surprises in the report but it emphasises again the progress that has been made and the vast differences that exist between countries. Its conclusion that fertility has declined significantly is very far from a confirmation that we need not worry about population.

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15 May 2019

International Day of Families

The International Day provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families and to increase knowledge of the social, economic and demographic processes affecting families.​

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Teenage pregnancy

Briefings and submissions

One in six pregnancies in the UK is unintended and teenage pregnancy rates are the highest in Western Europe. 

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The benefits of smaller families

Briefings and submissions

Dominant cultural norms often influence couples in their choice of family size. Depending on the context, this decision can be traced to religious, cultural or socio- economic reasons, such as the need for support in old age.

However, it is proven that a family size of two or fewer children provides many benefits both to the parents and the children.

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Personal contribution to sustainability

Sustainability Insights

The greatest long-term personal contribution that most people can make to sustainability is to refrain from having an unsustainable number of children — as explained in our smaller families webpage.

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Migration

Sustainability Insights

Background We live in an Age of Migration, with 244 million people, or 3.3 per cent of the world’s population, living outside their country of birth in 2015. 1 Migration, as such, is not new. Studies by paleoanthropologists suggest that, since the earliest times for which we have evidence, our human ancestors and other hominids have migrated. More recently, many significant migrations have been recorded — for example, between 1836 and 1914 more than 30 million.

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Ageing Populations

Sustainability Insights

 

Responding to ageing populations Populations around the world are ageing as life expectancy increases and as birth rates fall. At present, the increased proportion of elderly people in the population is generally higher in developed countries than in others, but ageing is increasingly becoming a global phenomenon.

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25 June 2018

Population and family size – tapping into the zeitgeist?

The past few months have seen an unprecedented level of attention on population and family size in the media. With articles in The Times, the Washington Post, the New York TimesThe Guardian, the BBC, and many other outlets, could it be that this long-neglected issue is finally getting the attention it deserves?

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24 April 2018

Big (royal) families are behind the times

The announcement of the pregnancy of the Duchess of Cambridge last year was greeted with criticism, as well as congratulations. Population Matters offered our own comment in the national media.

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9 January 2018

Imams support family planning in Senegal

Public health officials and NGOs in Senegal turn to mosques to expand the provision of family planning, The Christian Science Monitor reports. A key first step, results indicate.

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