Population Matters resource library

Population Matters has been conducting research and producing briefings and government submissions for more than 20 years. You can use this page to find resources on a wide variety of population and environmental subjects. Use the search filters below to refine your search, or browse more than 100 papers and documents. You can also find past editions of the Population Matters members' magazine

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Note: Documents published by Population Matters in the past may not reflect current policies or positions.

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Journal of Population and Sustainability

As part of our commitment to research in the field, Population Matters also publishes the editorially independent Journal of Population and Sustainability, exploring all aspects of the relationship between human numbers and environmental issues.

Journal of Population and Sustainability

High population growth in the UK’s local authorities

Briefings and submissions

UK population levels are expected to grow to 70 million by 2027. Many local authorities already face significant difficulties linked to population growth.

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Public services in the UK

Briefings and submissions

In this briefing, the challenges faced by both public services, and the consequences this has for society, will be explored.

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Teenage pregnancy

Briefings and submissions

One in six pregnancies in the UK is unintended and teenage pregnancy rates are the highest in Western Europe. 

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Population and Resource Security

As the world is faced with other more pressing challenges, resource security is gradually diminishing. 

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How population growth affects poverty reduction

Briefings and submissions

Unsustainable population growth impedes women’s empowerment, redirects government and household resources away from investment and limits job opportunities, while also lowering wages for those limited jobs.

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Water

Sustainability Insights

Availability of fresh water is already a key resource issue for people in many parts of the world, and one which any increase inhuman population can only magnify. A

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Position Statement

Current population growth is both undesirable and unsustainable.

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Response to IDC Inquiry on Humanitarian Emergencies

Briefings and submissions

Increasing access to, and use of, family planning services both generally and in the context of humanitarian emergencies can very significantly reduce the impact of crises on children.

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Population Matters Articles of Association

Population Matters governance

Our Articles of Association, setting our rules, governance and obligations.

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Guarantor Member application form

Population Matters governance

Application form for Guarantor Membership of Population Matters

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Optimistic assumptions required for food sufficiency for 10 billion people by 2050

Briefings and submissions

1. Climate change will not prevent continuing increases in crop yields;
2. Ocean acidification will not reduce fisheries;
3. Water will continue to be readily available for farming;

...

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Water challenges in the world and the UK

Briefings and submissions

Freshwater is not an unlimited resource, and the world has seen its water consumption levels rise rapidly in the past hundred years.

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Population and food security

Briefings and submissions

‘End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture by 2030.’ The world set itself a considerable challenge in the Sustainable Development Goals.

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The benefits of smaller families

Briefings and submissions

Dominant cultural norms often influence couples in their choice of family size. Depending on the context, this decision can be traced to religious, cultural or socio- economic reasons, such as the need for support in old age.

However, it is proven that a family size of two or fewer children provides many benefits both to the parents and the children.

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The feminist case for smaller families

Briefings and submissions

More and more women are choosing to have smaller families.1 Many are choosing to forego having children entirely. Such choices have been criticised in the past, but attitudes are changing as more people come to see the benefits of having smaller families or living a childfree life.

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Ending child poverty in the UK through smaller families

Briefings and submissions
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Teenage pregnancy in England and Wales

Briefings and submissions

Teenage pregnancy rates in England and Wales are at their lowest point since records began. This is due, primarily, to government action, which has improved the provision of sex and relationships education (SRE) and increased access to contraception for young people.

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Asserting family-size choice

Briefings and submissions

An increasing number of people are choosing to have smaller families, while many others decide to forego having children entirely. While the choice to remain childless remains subject to a lot of criticism, the topic of voluntary childlessness is increasingly up for debate.

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The financial case for smaller families

Briefings and submissions

The average cost of raising a child in the UK has risen dramatically over the last decade. Excluding housing, it now costs, on average, almost a quarter of a million pounds to raise a child from birth to age 21.

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Why family size varies in England and Wales

Briefings and submissions

Of the latest group of women in England and Wales to have reached the end of their childbearing years, four in five have had children. The majority of these women have two or more children, women are now as likely to be childless as to have three children, and one in every ten women has four or more children.

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