Population and Development

Population and development issues are inextricably linked. The world’s poorest areas often have the highest fertility rates. It’s a vicious cycle as poverty can fuel rapid population growth and rapid population growth can trap people in poverty. One in ten people still live on less than $2 a day.

Quality education, women’s empowerment, and universal access to modern contraception are powerful tools to reduce both poverty and high birth rates. When people are empowered to control their fertility and pursue careers, they choose small families.

Learn more about population and development here.

See our latest news stories and blog posts about development below.

Population Matters campaigners in New York
25 September 2020

PM supporters call for UN action

Last year we launched a petition calling on the United Nations to take action on population. People from 128 countries signed up, and we have submitted it to the UN today, to mark five years since the Sustainable Development Goals were introduced.

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Contraceptive pills
26 September 2020

Reproductive Healthcare: The Missing Link

A new study released highlights the importance of ensuring universal access to modern reproductive healthcare to achieving the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. To mark World Contraception Day, Population Matters calls for increased funding to the UNFPA to fulfill unmet modern contraceptive needs. 

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19 September 2020 to 26 September 2020

UN Global Week to #Act4SDGs

The 2020 Global Week to Act4SDGs, on September 18-26, is a joint call to action for everyone - leaders, citizens, organisations and institutions - to accelerate progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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Densely packed buildings
28 August 2020

It's time to end harmful population denial

Population Matters Director Robin Maynard debunks writer George Monbiot's claims that addressing the population issue is "blaming the poor" and "racist", and explains why population denial hurts everyone, especially the world's most vulnerable.

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Small family in woods
22 August 2020

Earth Overshoot Day: How smaller families shrink our ecological footprint

Today is Earth Overshoot Day, the day on which humanity has used up all the natural resources that the Earth can produce within a year. This means that from tomorrow, we are effectively in ecological overshoot, leading to resource depletion and destruction of nature. Population Matters Senior Communications Officer Olivia Nater explains how empowering people to choose a small family size helps us live within our planetary boundaries.

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Senegalese woman learning about modern contraceptives
10 August 2020

Investing in contraception would save billions of dollars

A new report estimates that fulfilling the unmet need for modern contraception in developing countries would save $16 billion a year in maternal healthcare by reducing the number of unintended pregnancies.

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London street crowd
6 August 2020

Small island, big population – why the UK needs a Sustainable Population Policy

With the United Kingdom already considered one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world, unabated population growth poses a real threat to remaining ecosystems and human health and wellbeing. Population Matters Director Robin Maynard takes a look at a UK politician’s new proposal to set up a governmental body tasked with monitoring national population trends and developing policy recommendations. 

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Person eating burger
27 July 2020

Eating the planet: what our diets and population growth mean for the environment

A new report reveals that global adoption of current food consumption patterns in G20 countries would ruin our chance of meeting climate and sustainability targets, exceeding our food carbon budget by almost three-fold and requiring up to seven Earths to support.

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Crowd crossing road
20 July 2020

Two billion fewer people?

A new study published in The Lancet projects that the global population will peak at 9.7bn in 2064 and be 8.8bn by the end of the century. That's 2bn below the United Nations projection. Can it be true?

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14 July 2020

World Population Day 2020 – sustainable development needs a sustainable population

Saturday 11 July marked World Population Day and for us it was the culmination of a series of digital events that we hope will encourage and inspire people to talk about population issues. This year our theme and activities centred around the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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