Big (royal) families are behind the times

The announcement of the pregnancy of the Duchess of Cambridge last year was greeted with criticism, as well as congratulations.

Some commenters noted that with a soon-to-be family of three, the heir to the throne and his wife were out of step with the move towards small families for sustainability reasons. Population Matters offered our own comment in the national media.

With the arrival of the latest royal baby yesterday, we issued this statement from director Robin Maynard to the press.

Population Matters statement

“We welcome the Cambridges’ baby boy to the world and wish him a long and happy life. But sadly, not every child born today will have such good life chances – and our growing human population and its impacts on our planet are making life for everyone more challenging.

“Only last November, over 15,000 scientists from across the world issued a “warning to humanity”, bluntly stating that unless we change our ways, we face environmental catastrophe. The scientists didn’t hesitate to identify rising human population as a principal driver, or to propose the solution: ‘It is also time to re-examine and change our individual behaviors, including limiting our own reproduction (ideally to replacement level at most)…’

Royal baby…or no baby?

“With numbers of babies being born to millennials the lowest for their age bracket since 1938, a large Royal Family is out of step with the times. Population Matters recently shared a graphic on why millennials are not having kids or choosing smaller families, which has reached more than 4 million people (and rising) and generated 1,800 comments. Attitudes to parenting and family size are changing fast.

“Of course, as individual families, we love and cherish our children – but we also need to love and cherish our planet, for their sake and that of future generations. Family size is not just a matter of personal choice, the impacts of an extra child on wider society and our planet should also be considered. Our good wishes and congratulations to the Duke and Duchess: we hope they will do their part to protect their new son’s future, and that of all children born today, by choosing to add no more new people to our rising population.”


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