Modern contraception has played a key role in decreasing global fertility rates (the total number of children per woman). Having the freedom to choose if, when and how many children to have has enabled women in high-income countries to pursue education and career opportunities that were previously inaccessible.

Unfortunately, the majority of women still have insufficient control over their fertility and their lives. More than 230 million women in developing nations who wish to avoid pregnancy are currently unable to because they are not using modern birth control. Barriers to family planning include lack of access, cost, misinformation, and patriarchal religious and cultural norms.

Read our latest news stories and blog posts about family planning.

Kenyan woman with baby
28 November 2019

Unmet needs: conversations with the women left behind

Population Matters' Director, Robin Maynard, summarises events at this month's Nairobi Summit on ICPD25, and recounts his experience of meeting young women and their families in Africa's largest slum and surrounding rural communities.

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Population Matters Magazine Autumn 2019

Population Matters Magazine

Features World Population Day 2019, Population Declinism, an interview with Dr Edu Effiom and our new Empower to Plan project Jiwsi.

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Nairobi traffic
11 November 2019

Time to talk population again

This week, representatives from Population Matters will attend one of the most significant global meetings on population and development in recent years, the Nairobi Summit on ICPD 25. They will be taking the message that securing sustainable population is an essential goal and that failure to recognise this has led to the promised benefits for people and the environment being delivered too little, too late.

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Florence with kids
4 November 2019

Cracking knuckles and counting kids

Population Matters’ Campaigns and Projects Officer, Florence Blondel, reflects on her family life in Uganda, and what it tells us about population growth in her home country, and across much of Africa. She also identifies some positive changes coming.

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Human population and the convention on biodiversity - briefing 2019

Briefings and submissions

A four page summary outlining the impact of human population on biodiversity, and options to address it within the Convention on Biodiversity

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condom
16 October 2019

Scientists call for improving contraceptive use to fight climate change

A new commentary article published in BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health urges wide-scale adoption of policies that increase the use of modern contraception as part of global efforts to reduce climate emissions.

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African school kids
8 October 2019

High population density hurts child health, study finds

A continent-wide analysis of how different development factors affect the health of children in Africa found that child health is worst in countries with high population densities.

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Girl in field
3 September 2019

The most powerful action to save the planet is the most neglected one

As well as being morally essential, achieving global gender equality would make an unparalleled contribution to improving lives, reducing emissions and halting the destruction of nature. So why does women's empowerment remain a chronically underfunded and overlooked solution?

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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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WPD New York
17 July 2019

Going global on World Population Day

This World Population Day, 11 July 2019, Population Matters went global by running events in three continents. Thanks to our supporters and allies, we had a very successful day in Lagos, Nigeria, London, UK and New York, USA, raising awareness of population issues and pushing them up the international agenda.

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