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.

Toucan
20 September 2019

Wildlife conservation is incompatible with human population growth

A major analysis found that while wildlife can benefit from sustainable development and economic growth, continued human population growth is incompatible with conservation goals.

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City
12 September 2019

The World and the UN Must Reduce Population Growth

The United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals imply that there is no longer any need to reduce global population growth, even though it is a serious problem that undermines most of the SDG targets. By adding a further SDG aimed at slowing the increase in population, the world could yet save the UN’s 2030 Agenda.

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Girl in field
3 September 2019

The most powerful action to save the planet is the most neglected one

As well as being morally essential, achieving global gender equality would make an unparalleled contribution to improving lives, reducing emissions and halting the destruction of nature. So why does women's empowerment remain a chronically underfunded and overlooked solution?

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Harry & Meghan
1 August 2019

A limit on royal babies? Prince Harry thinks small families are best, public agrees

Prince Harry’s recent comments on choosing a small family for the sake of the planet caused a welcome swell in media coverage of population issues. According to a survey, the majority of Brits agree with the Duke of Sussex that it is necessary to limit one’s family size for the environment, while newly released data on UK births confirms an ongoing trend towards smaller families.

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fruit and veg
24 July 2019

Despite economic growth, billions won’t have enough fruit and veg by 2050

A new Lancet study analysing the gap between future fruit and vegetable supply and recommended consumption levels found that even under the most optimistic socioeconomic growth scenarios, there won’t be enough to go around by mid-century.

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WPD New York
17 July 2019

Going global on World Population Day

This World Population Day, 11 July 2019, Population Matters went global by running events in three continents. Thanks to our supporters and allies, we had a very successful day in Lagos, Nigeria, London, UK and New York, USA, raising awareness of population issues and pushing them up the international agenda.

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SDGs what's missing
11 July 2019

Sustainable development needs sustainable population

On World Population Day 2019, Population Matters is bringing that critical message to London, New York and Lagos

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Person looking at stars
28 June 2019

Mission Earth, not Mars

Population Matters Director Robin Maynard challenges Elon Musk's claim that we should be worried about population decline, not too many people.

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27 June 2019

Condoms cut carbon - Population Matters at the Mass Climate Lobby

Decked in giant condom robes, Population Matters and supporters attended the mass lobby for climate and the environment in London yesterday, highlighting the urgent need for smaller families.

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Woman drinking water
21 June 2019

No water, no life: Population growth and climate change are fuelling the water crisis

From India to sub-Saharan Africa to Britain, local water shortages are turning into a global water crisis due to population pressure and climate change.

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