Harry & Meghan
1 August 2019

A limit on royal babies? Prince Harry thinks small families are best, public agrees

Prince Harry’s recent comments on choosing a small family for the sake of the planet caused a welcome swell in media coverage of population issues. According to a survey, the majority of Brits agree with the Duke of Sussex that it is necessary to limit one’s family size for the environment, while newly released data on UK births confirms an ongoing trend towards smaller families.

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Person looking at stars
28 June 2019

Mission Earth, not Mars

Population Matters Director Robin Maynard challenges Elon Musk's claim that we should be worried about population decline, not too many people.

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27 June 2019

Condoms cut carbon - Population Matters at the Mass Climate Lobby

Decked in giant condom robes, Population Matters and supporters attended the mass lobby for climate and the environment in London yesterday, highlighting the urgent need for smaller families.

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the time is now
26 June 2019

The Time is Now. Mass Lobby 2019

Join us in Westminster on 26th June for The Time Is Now, a Climate Coalition Mass Lobby for climate, nature, and people. Together we can send a clear message to politicians.

We will rally around Parliament, coming face to face with our MPs to tell them that The Time Is Now for action on climate change and the environment. We’ll snake round Westminster, organised town by town, village by village, and meet our MPs one-by-one to tell them that we want action!

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Small family with twins
15 May 2019

Small families around the world share their thoughts

We asked people why they chose to have small families and were overwhelmed by the hundreds of testimonials we received from around the world. Both parents and child-free people shared their views on small family life and how concern about the environment often played a key role in their decisions about how many children to have.

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11 November 2018

What do declining global fertility rates really mean?

A new study has highlighted how fertility rates have declined over the last generation. There are no significant surprises in the report but it emphasises again the progress that has been made and the vast differences that exist between countries. Its conclusion that fertility has declined significantly is very far from a confirmation that we need not worry about population.

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15 May 2019

International Day of Families

The International Day provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families and to increase knowledge of the social, economic and demographic processes affecting families.​

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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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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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Personal contribution to sustainability

Sustainability Insights

The greatest long-term personal contribution that most people can make to sustainability is to refrain from having an unsustainable number of children — as explained in our smaller families webpage.

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