World population

The world’s population now exceeds 7.8 billion people. Our population is still growing by more than 80 million people every year and is likely to keep growing until the end of the century, unless we take action.

It took the human population until 1800 to reach 1 billion people – we now add a billion more every 12 to 15 years. Since 1970, our numbers have more than doubled.

Learn more about our numbers here.

See our latest news stories and blog posts about world population below.

Endgame 2050 poster
4 February 2021

Endgame 2050 Live Panel Discussion

​The important new documentary ENDGAME 2050 provides a sobering glimpse into the bleak future we are headed towards unless we embrace the transformative change required to turn the tide on our biggest environmental crises. Join us as for a virtual live-screening of the population segment of the film, followed by a panel discussion with leading experts!

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22 January 2021

Population and reproductive rights - our new briefing

In a submission to the UK parliament, Population Matters calls for greater honesty about the population benefits of reproductive rights - and warns of the threat posed by nationalistic population policies.

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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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Climate Change Briefing 2020

Briefings and submissions

Fully referenced four-page summary of evidence showing the link between population growth and climate change, and how ethical population solutions can help address it.

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12 December 2020

UN Summit: Are Climate Ambitions Falling Short?

With the virtual UN Climate Ambition Summit 2020 being held on the 12th of December, we ask why the rapid growth of the human population is still being left off the international agenda.

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Judy Ling Wong
2 December 2020

The love of the human: Interview with Judy Ling Wong

Population is a complicated and multi-faceted issue. To help ensure that we at Population Matters (PM) say and do the right things, we have an Expert Advisory Group. Among those experts is the founder of the Black Environment Network, Judy Ling Wong. In conversation with Population Matters Head of Campaigns Alistair Currie, Judy discusses how addressing our environmental challenges is about far more than facts and figures - it's about engaging with what motivates and inspires people.

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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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