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.

Teenage pregnancy in England and Wales

Briefings and submissions

Teenage pregnancy rates in England and Wales are at their lowest point since records began. This is due, primarily, to government action, which has improved the provision of sex and relationships education (SRE) and increased access to contraception for young people.

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Asserting family-size choice

Briefings and submissions

An increasing number of people are choosing to have smaller families, while many others decide to forego having children entirely. While the choice to remain childless remains subject to a lot of criticism, the topic of voluntary childlessness is increasingly up for debate.

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Small families produce big green gains

World population will have more than doubled from 2.5 billion in 1950 to 6.8bn by 2009, in less than a lifetime, and is set to grow by another 2.4bn to reach 9.2bn in

20501.

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Family planning: the key to sustainable development

Briefings and submissions

Summary January 2016 sees the launch of the sustainable development goals (SDGs), a set of 17 objectives that will guide international development until 2030, and the International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) in Indonesia.

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Women’s rights

Sustainability Insights

In recent years, governments across the world have been accepting more legal human rights obligations to combat gender inequalities. Despite this, discrimination against women is still widespread, and the severest of human rights violations are persisting in many countries.

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Poverty

Sustainability Insights

Data from 2015 showed that, although extreme poverty had declined significantly over the past two decades, 14 per cent of the population of the developing world was still subsisting on less than $1.25 per day, defined by the UN as an international indicator of poverty. 

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Personal contribution to sustainability

Sustainability Insights

The greatest long-term personal contribution that most people can make to sustainability is to refrain from having an unsustainable number of children — as explained in our smaller families webpage.

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Current population trends

Sustainability Insights

The future population growth of the world is difficult to predict accurately. A range of projections has been published by organizations such as the United Nations and the US Census Bureau, depending on different assumptions of birth rates and other factors affecting numbers.

 

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Contraception and lack of reproductive health

Sustainability Insights

Global perspective

Worldwide, 225 million women have an ‘unmet need’ for modern contraception. Having an unmet need is defined as wanting to stop or delay childbearing but not using any method of contraception1. 

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12 November 2018 to 15 November 2018

International Conference on Family Planning 2018

Every other year since 2009, the International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) has brought together the family planning community to share best practices, celebrate successes, and chart a course forward.

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