World population

The world’s population now exceeds 7.8 billion people. Our population is still growing by more than 80 million people every year and is likely to keep growing until the end of the century, unless we take action.

It took the human population until 1800 to reach 1 billion people – we now add a billion more every 12 to 15 years. Since 1970, our numbers have more than doubled.

Learn more about our numbers here.

See our latest news stories and blog posts about world population below.

Thai mother and baby
29 February 2020

Reproductive health, family planning & ethics - case studies from Honduras, Thailand & Tanzania

How do reproductive health services and attitudes to family planning vary around the world?

Answers to these questions are crucial for those wanting to empower women and give them choices as to how many children to have and when to have them.

This free speaker event is organised by the London Group of Population Matters.

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Robin Maynard and Lagos media, World Population Day 2019
23 December 2019

2019 Year in Review

PM director Robin Maynard reviews a successful year for Population Matters, but one which brought much bad news about the planet.

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Crops in South Africa
11 December 2019

Larger population, larger people: humanity will require 80% more food by 2100

A new study shows that increases in average human height and weight, alongside population growth, could cause global food demand to soar.

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Big Baby climate change event Parliament quare
3 December 2019

Big Baby calls for small families to cut CO2

With the critical COP25 climate change meeting opening in Madrid, Population Matters' 7m-high Big Baby brought a critical message to Westminster on Friday: cutting population growth through choosing smaller families is vital to fight climate change.

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Kenyan woman with baby
28 November 2019

Unmet needs: conversations with the women left behind

Population Matters' Director, Robin Maynard, summarises events at this month's Nairobi Summit on ICPD25, and recounts his experience of meeting young women and their families in Africa's largest slum and surrounding rural communities.

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Population Matters Magazine Autumn 2019

Population Matters Magazine

Features World Population Day 2019, Population Declinism, an interview with Dr Edu Effiom and our new Empower to Plan project Jiwsi.

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Nairobi traffic
11 November 2019

Time to talk population again

This week, representatives from Population Matters will attend one of the most significant global meetings on population and development in recent years, the Nairobi Summit on ICPD 25. They will be taking the message that securing sustainable population is an essential goal and that failure to recognise this has led to the promised benefits for people and the environment being delivered too little, too late.

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Person sitting on cracked soil
8 November 2019

11,000 scientists call for population action to prevent catastrophic climate impacts

The Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency, signed by more than 11,000 scientists from around the world, warns of “untold human suffering” unless governments take urgent action to tackle the climate crisis, including ending and reversing population growth.

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condom
16 October 2019

Scientists call for improving contraceptive use to fight climate change

A new commentary article published in BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health urges wide-scale adoption of policies that increase the use of modern contraception as part of global efforts to reduce climate emissions.

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Greta Thunberg and David Attenborough at UN Climate Action Summit
24 September 2019

UN Climate Action Summit fails to deliver climate action

The UN’s Climate Action Summit in New York City wrapped up yesterday, leaving many environmentalists feeling deeply disappointed. Despite pressure from youth activists led by 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, a record-breaking attendance at last Friday’s global Climate Strike, and a call to action from Sir David Attenborough, world leaders yet again failed to make meaningful commitments.

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