Where children do not survive into adulthood, people tend to have larger families. Reducing infant and child mortality has been key to bringing birth rates down across the world.
Family planning and gender equality helps to achieve that, by allowing women to start having children when they are older and increasing spacing between children. As family size goes down, that also allows greater investment in health services, especially in low-income countries.
Population Matters is a UK-based charity working with partners, friends and stakeholders globally to achieve a better future for people and planet. Our vision is of a future in which our population co-exists in harmony with nature and prospers on a healthy planet, to the benefit of all.
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A 2023 paper published by a group of Australian academics has established that reducing infant mortality rates will lower global population growth. Their conclusion: improved access to contraception and family planning is what’s required.
Rapid population growth and its causes continue to pose a major impediment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular eradicating hunger and poverty, achieving gender equality, and improving health and education. Poverty is also a significant driver and predictor of population growth. Total population in the UN’s designated Least Developed Countries is projected to rise from just over 1bn in 2020 to 1.76bn in 2050.
Find out more about the need for improved healthcare and other solutions that can slow population growth, enhance global justice and improve lives here.