Population and family planning

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.

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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The Unmet Contraceptive Needs of Women and Girls

Briefings and submissions

A four page summary outlining the unmet contraceptive needs of women and girls globally and the relationship between the provision of modern family planning and social and environmental issues.

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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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Sanghamitra Singh
28 September 2020

The impact of COVID-19 on women’s reproductive health in India: Safeguarding women’s rights

In this guest blog post marking International Safe Abortion Day, Sanghamitra Singh of the Population Foundation of India examines the impact of the pandemic on women's rights and sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion services, in India. 

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14 September 2020

Relationships & Sex Education: Teach Everyone Every Aspect

The theme of this year's UK Sexual Health Week is relationships and sex education. In this guest blog post, Dr. Rebecca Foljambe, founder of RSE charity and Empower to Plan partner You Before Two, reflects on a discussion with some of her young students. 

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7 September 2020

The Kibra youths protecting their communities and environment

Population Matters Campaigner Katrina Dixon reflects on what we have achieved through our Empower to Plan programme so far this year, and the continued support needed for the people of Kibra slum in Kenya.

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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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12 August 2020

Championing better choices: My work as a young population activist

The theme of this year's International Youth Day is "Youth Engagement for Global Action". Stella Wright, a member of the Population Matters London Local Group, is one of an increasing number of young people around the world concerned about the impact of global population growth. Here, she explains what motivated her to become an environmental activist. 

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