Read our latest news stories and blog posts about population matters around the world.

 

5 July 2017

Africa: Demographic dividend or population disaster?

By 2050, more than half of the anticipated growth in global population is expected to occur in Africa. While some leaders see this as an economic opportunity, others can sense a looming disaster unless measures to control population and support family planning are put into place.

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26 June 2017

UK population growth highest in 70 years

https://populationmatters.org/the-factsLast week, the Office for National Statistics released its mid-2016 Population Estimates for UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. These statistics reveal that the number of people residing in the UK increased by 538,000 over the previous year, the largest rise in actual numbers seen in nearly 70 years. 

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21 June 2017

16bn or 7.3bn in 2100? New UN figures say both possible

The United Nations has today released new projections for global population growth up until 2100. Issued every two years, the projections for 2017 show slight increases over those produced in 2015 – increases measured, however, in hundreds of millions of people.

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23 May 2017

Report: Population key to controlling climate change

Analysis undertaken for a comprehensive new plan to reverse global warming, Drawdown, has identified family planning and educating girls as among the top 10 workable solutions available today. Together, they would reduce CO2 emissions by 120 gigatons by 2050 — more than onshore and offshore wind power combined.

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20 April 2017

The UK election, overseas aid and family planning

Since this item was written, the Prime Minister has confirmed that the commitment to current levels of aid spending will remain a part of the Conservative Party programme for government if it is re-elected. In a brief comment, she also said: “what we need to look at is how that money is spent”. 

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4 April 2017

US ends funding for United Nations Population Fund

On Monday, the US declared it was cutting its funds to the United Nations Population Fund(UNFPA) – an agency that promotes family planning in more than 150 countries – threatening the health and rights of millions of girls and women around the world, particularly those most vulnerable.

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31 March 2017

Sydney hits 5 million as Australia continues to grow

Australia’s two biggest cities – Melbourne and Sydney – account for more than half of the country’s population growth, new statistics for 2015-16 show. With Melbourne now its fastest growing city, sprawling suburbs of state capitals are Australia’s new boom towns

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28 March 2017

One step forward, two steps back in African economic development?

Despite significant progress in recent years, Malawi’s government is concerned that young Malawis will inherit only poverty as economic gains are neutralised by population growth. 

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5 March 2017

Is the Pope heeding warnings about population?

According to an unconfirmed report, Pope Francis has urged people to have fewer children in order to address environmental concerns. However, the Catholic Church’s opposition to artificial contraception remains in place.

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23 February 2017

Challenging the Global Gag Rule

Population Matters supports international efforts to defend family planning following the Trump administration’s ban on overseas aid for organisations providing abortion or information about it. Please join the campaign.

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27 January 2017

President Trump reinstates ‘Global Gag Rule’

On 23 January 2017, family planning services worldwide received a blow when President Trump reinstated and expanded, the ‘Global Gag Rule’. The policy stipulates that no US overseas aid money will be given to any organisation providing abortions or information about abortion. 

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24 January 2017

18 million Chinese babies since end of one child policy

The Chinese government has released figures for births in 2016, the first full year since the end of the country’s one child policy. The 18m number is 7.9% above the number in 2015. According to a senior Chinese official, “the family planning policy adjustments were extremely timely and extremely effective”.

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20 January 2017

Meet our new chief executive

In December, Robin Maynard started work at Population Matters as our Interim CEO. In this interview, he explains why he is here and what he hopes to achieve.

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11 January 2017

Chris Packham speaks out on impact of population

I remember when this was all fields full of birds and butterflies.” It’s a cliché isn’t it . . . but those words frequently describe changes most adults have seen if they have been fortunate enough to spend time in the countryside. It’s also a powerful metaphor for the wider situation we find ourselves in today.

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9 December 2016

Panic and pragmatism: population in Korea and Japan

South Korea’s official statistics agency has just announced that it expects the country’s population to shrink by 8 million over the next 50 years. Currently around  50 million, the agency projects that the population will peak at 52.96 million in 2031 and then gradually decline to 43 million in 2065.

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4 November 2016

30 million more women accessing contraception than in 2012

The FP2020 international family planning initiative has released its fourth annual progress report. The global programme seeks to have 120 million more women able to access modern contraception than in 2012.

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27 October 2016

WWF: we are facing the next global mass extinction

The 2016 Living Planet report published by WWF today pulls no punches in describing the devastation to our natural world caused by human activity. The report calculates that by 2020 populations of wild vertebrate animals will have declined by nearly 70 per cent since 1970.

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15 September 2016

State of Nature report overlooks population growth impact

On September 14th, more than 50 nature conservation and research organisations published the 2016 State of Nature report. The report found evidence of significant losses in biodiversity in the UK but overlooked the impact of population growth.

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27 August 2016

Teen pregnancy rates continue to fall

The Family Planning Association (FPA) has recently reported on the latest teenage pregnancy figures from the Office for National Statistics, which recorded a 6.4 per cent decrease in teenage pregnancies in England and Wales for the second quarter of 2015 vs. the same period for the previous year.

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14 July 2016

Our 25th anniversary

The Optimum Population Trust (OPT) was founded by David Willey and others on 24 July 1991. Its goals were: “to collect, analyze and disseminate information about the sizes of global and national populations and to link this to a study of carrying capacities and inhabitants’ quality of life in order to support policy decisions.”

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