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.

Chris Packham
17 January 2020

Chris Packham: we need to talk about population

In a landmark and powerful documentary on the BBC, Population Matters patron Chris Packham looked at the challenges of population growth, and made an impassioned plea for it to become a core part of environmental debate.

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Thai mother and baby
29 February 2020

Reproductive health, family planning & ethics - case studies from Honduras, Thailand & Tanzania

How do reproductive health services and attitudes to family planning vary around the world?

Answers to these questions are crucial for those wanting to empower women and give them choices as to how many children to have and when to have them.

This free speaker event is organised by the London Group of Population Matters.

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Robin Maynard and Lagos media, World Population Day 2019
23 December 2019

2019 Year in Review

PM director Robin Maynard reviews a successful year for Population Matters, but one which brought much bad news about the planet.

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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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