Population and Economics

Modern economies promote continuous growth – a concept that is coming under increasing criticism from the environmental movement. The idea that we can have endless growth ignores the fact that our planet and its natural resources are finite.

To fuel constant economic growth, we need ever more consumers. Therefore, many governments employ ‘pro-natalist’ policies which aim to boost birth rates.

Developed countries that have achieved low fertility rates undergo population ageing, which is when the proportion of older people increases due to decreasing births and increasing longevity. Many economists and politicians fear population ageing because of its potential dampening effect on economic growth. However, these fears are often overblown and ignore the tremendous benefits of reduced population growth.

Learn more about population ageing here.

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

27 March 2020

Study: preference for small families is 'contagious'

17 February 2020

The ‘blue acceleration’: ocean plunder in the Anthropocene

4 February 2020

Which European countries spend the most on global family planning?

Old couple riding bikes
19 November 2019

70 is the new 65: a new way of looking at population ageing

Older people
23 August 2019

UK population bigger and greyer

fruit and veg
24 July 2019

Despite economic growth, billions won’t have enough fruit and veg by 2050

4 July 2019

Human population density main driver of nature loss in Africa

13 June 2019

UN report: Small change in family size, big change in future population

Oil palm
21 March 2019

Population and consumption causing extinction crisis and water shortage

UK Prime Minister Theresa May
1 March 2019

Crisis? What crisis? Government complacency on environment

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