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.

14 January 2021

Humanity headed towards ‘ghastly future’: Urgent warning from top scientists

An important new study warns that the world is failing to grasp the gravity of our environmental crises, and that without urgent action on the underlying causes, population and consumption growth, we face catastrophic mass extinction, climate disruption, and human suffering.

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Submission on reproductive rights and sustainable development - Dec 2020

Briefings and submissions

Fully referenced 8-page submission following a call for evidence regarding the relationship between Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and sustainable development. The call for evidence was made by the UK's All-Parliamentary Group on Population, Development and Reproductive Health

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Hand holding branch
18 December 2020

What COVID-19 has taught us about our relationship with nature

As 2020 draws to a close, humanity is reflecting on a particularly difficult year. The slow but sure roll-out of COVID-19 vaccination programmes presents a light at the end of the tunnel, yet new pandemics are just around the corner unless we confront our broken relationship with nature. Population Matters Senior Communications Officer, Olivia Nater, reviews the evidence.

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WVD 2019
20 November 2020

An Act of Love: Vasectomies and positive masculinity

On 18 October 2013, filmmaker Jonathan Stack and urologist Dr. Doug Stein launched the first ever World Vasectomy Day. This week, they are celebrating the 8th annual event with close to 1,000 participating physicians in 30 countries committed to doing 10,000 vasectomies – WVD is now the largest male-oriented family planning event in history. Jonathan reveals what motivates them and recounts their inspiring journey so far.

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17 November 2020

"The best decision of my life": The men who chose a vasectomy

World Vasectomy Day is an annual celebration of the men who choose a vasectomy to help share the burden of contraception and responsible family planning. We gathered testimonies from men across the world about their personal experiences of getting "the snip". 

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14 November 2020

Population must play a role in the climate conversation

How does population growth affect climate change? For this week's London Climate Action Week, PM Board Member and Director of Flight Free UK, Anna Hughes, reflects on her decision not to have children to reduce her carbon footprint.

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Biden 2020 flag
10 November 2020

Biden’s victory: What does it mean for women’s rights and the environment?

Sexual and reproductive health and rights and the environment saw several significant setbacks under the Trump administration. Now that Joe Biden and running mate Kamala Harris have won the US presidential election, what is likely to change? Senior Communications Officer Olivia Nater takes a look at key international policy issues.

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Aubergine with lemons
22 October 2020

Birth control: where are the male options?

There is now a whole buffet of female contraceptive methods on the market, yet there remain only two options for men: condoms and vasectomy. Why is this? Population Matters Senior Communications Officer Olivia Nater investigates.

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Population Matters Magazine - Autumn 2020

Population Matters Magazine

Summarises our World Population Day activities on population and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, explains how we're working to influence the new global agreement on biodiversity, features an interview with childfree filmmaker Maxine Trump, and more.

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David Attenborough on Easter Island
7 October 2020

Attenborough film: Saving our planet requires ending population growth

David Attenborough's 'A Life On Our Planet' highlights the rampant destruction of nature caused by human population growth and unsustainable consumption, as well as the positive and urgently needed actions we must take to save our one and only planet. Population Matters Director Robin Maynard reviews the film.

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