Did you know that nearly half of all pregnancies are unintended?

Currently, more than 200 million women who want to avoid pregnancy are not using modern contraception. There are a variety of reasons for this, including lack of access, concerns about side effects and social pressure (often from male partners) not to use it.

These women mostly live in some of the world’s poorest countries, where population is set to rise by 3 billion by 2100. Overseas aid support for family planning is essential – both ensuring levels are high enough and that delivery of service is effective and goes hand-in-hand with advancing gender equality and engaging men.


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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Across the world, some people choose not to use contraception because they are influenced by assumptions, practices and pressures within their nations or communities. In some places, very large family sizes are considered desirable; in others, the use of contraception is discouraged or forbidden.

Working with women and men to change attitudes towards contraception and family size has formed a key part of successful family planning programmes. Religious barriers may also be overturned or sidelined. In Iran in the 1980s, a very successful family planning campaign was initiated when the country’s religious leader declared the use of contraception was consistent with Islamic belief. In Europe, some predominantly Catholic countries such as Portugal and Italy have some of the lowest fertility rates.

Find out more about the need for access to family planning and other solutions that can slow population growth, enhance global justice and improve lives here.

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