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.

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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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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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 - 2020

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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Leopard
11 September 2020

You can't stop extinctions by ignoring the number of people

WWF’s new Living Planet Report provides a clear picture of humanity’s destruction of nature, but doesn’t provide us with the missing link – solving population growth.

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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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