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Population Matters statement on 24 May ONS releases

25 May 2018

Immediate use

Population Matters statement on ONS releases on subnational population projections and population by country of birth

Population Matters director Robin Maynard says:

“We’ve become so used to these projections that we almost don’t notice their scale any more – but this is a total of 3 million people over less than a decade, affecting every single local authority in England. Public services and infrastructure are already stretched beyond their limits. Only a fantasist could believe that they have the capacity to accommodate this level of growth in demand.

“Population growth is not an inevitability. The government has tools at its disposal to manage net migration, influence & nudge people towards smaller family size, and plan ahead for the increased cohort of elderly people. It’s time they used those as part of a humane, effective and integrated strategy to achieve a level of population that is in everyone’s interests.

“People who live in Britain, wherever they are originally from, have a far greater environmental impact than most global citizens. Smaller families are essential to achieving a population in the UK which our natural environment and infrastructure can support. People in less affluent countries tend to have more children and when they migrate to more affluent countries like the UK, although their fertility rates usually match the norm in time, they push up average family size at first.

We need to foster the understanding across British society that larger families are environmentally unsustainable, whether that is in the Royal family or one that has just stepped onto our shores.



For further information or comment, please contact:

Alistair Currie, Head of Campaigns & Communications: 0208 123

Office for National Statistics: Sub-national population projections for England: 2016-based

Office for National Statistics: Population of the UK by country of birth and nationality: 2017

Population Matters is a membership charity that addresses population size and environmental sustainability. We believe population growth contributes to environmental degradation, resource depletion and other problems. We conduct research, inform the public and advocate improved family planning and sex education, women’s empowerment, smaller families and moderating consumption.


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