The UK’s population is currently projected to rise to 70 million by 2036, an increase of two million above today’s figure, and seven million more people than in 2010. There is ample evidence both of the negative impact of population growth on the UK and of deep public concern about it.
At the same time, concerns about the UK’s low birth rate and population ageing are increasingly being articulated in the media and politics, while some communities are negatively affected by depopulation. Population Matters believes such concerns are legitimate, but exaggerated and short-sighted, and is concerned that they could lead to social and political pressure on people to have larger families.
We believe that all countries, including the UK, should have policies intended to ensure a sustainable population. By “sustainable population”, we mean a level and demographic distribution of population that provides the best quality of life for their citizens, protects their natural environment, ensures the wellbeing of future generations and, just as importantly, has positive effects beyond their borders.
Unfortunately, no recent UK government has fully grasped the implications of demographic change or developed any coherent policy to address, manage or influence its future trajectory. Nor do any of the political parties in the UK.
This political lack of will stems primarily from ignorance of the nature and implications of demographic change, and concern that the issue is too politically sensitive to address.
We are therefore calling on the government and political parties to remove the politics from population and establish an independent official body to conduct research and policy analysis on demography, and provide objective, evidence-based advice to the government, parliament and the public on this issue. You can learn more about our proposals in the letter we have sent to the leaders of the major Westminster-based UK parties.
Please support our call
Please contact the government and party leaders at the addresses provided below, to support our call for a national demographic committee. Please use or adapt the short letter below – if you adapt it, of course, ensure that your letter is reasonable, brief and polite. Politicians respond best to positive proposals and sensitivity regarding controversial subjects. Please do share any replies you receive with us, by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear [representative’s name]
I am one of the majority of people in the UK who is concerned about our projected future population growth and believes that it has a negative effect on our wellbeing, public services and natural environment. Despite the considerable evidence of the negative impacts of population growth and polling confirming that population growth is a matter of concern to a majority of people, no political party is engaging with the challenges posed by demographic change in any substantive way.
I am therefore calling on you to recognise the importance of confronting all the challenges arising from demographic change, and to take the necessary steps to ensure holistic, integrated, informed and active policymaking in this area. As a first step, I urge you to support the call made by Population Matters for the establishment of an independent advisory body in the UK which can provide objective, evidence-based advice to the government, parliament and public on issues of population and its impact, and provide policy options to address those.
Thank you for your consideration of this request, and I look forward to your reply.
contact the UK’s Party leaders
Below we have listed the most convenient options to contact different Party leaders, including web forms, addresses and email addresses.
Conservative Party: Rishi Sunak
Prime Ministers Office web form
The Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP
10 Downing Street
Labour Party: Keir Starmer
Sir Keir Starmer MP
House of Commons
Liberal Democrats: Ed Davey
Contact form (select “I have some feedback for you”)
Sir Ed Davey MP
House of Commons
Green Party: Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsey
NOTE The situation in Scotland is distinct from Westminster as the Scottish National Party government in Scotland has its own population policy. At this stage in the campaign, we are not lobbying them or other Scottish parties.