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.

Letter to Natural History Museum

We are writing to you as a group of concerned zoologists, natural historians and conservationists – who are also variously patrons, trustees or staff members of Population Matters, which advocates that both the factors of human population and consumption patterns need to be taken into account when considering the sustainable future of our planet.

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20 January 2017

Meet our new chief executive

In December, Robin Maynard started work at Population Matters as our Interim CEO. In this interview, he explains why he is here and what he hopes to achieve.

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Welcome to the Anthropocene Briefing

Illustrated four-page briefing detailing the impact of human population on the planet.

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2 November 2018

Meet our new President: Jonathon Porritt

One of UK’s most high profile environmental campaigners is to become the new President of Population Matters. Former Green Party leader and director of Friends of the Earth, Jonathon Porritt has been a vocal advocate for population issues and will champion Population Matters’ work in his new role.

 

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1 November 2018

Key WWF report fails to address overpopulation

WWF International’s latest report on the state of the world’s wildlife once again shies away from addressing the ‘elephant in the room’. As one of the world’s most influential and popular environmental organisations, WWF is failing in its duty to confront the main driver of species decline: unsustainable human population pressure.

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26 October 2018

UN population report: progress, but much to do

The new State of the World Population 2018 report published by the United Nations Population Fund highlights the importance of having the power to choose the timing, number, and spacing of children in order to promote global economic and social development.

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Sustainable Development Goals graphic
11 July 2019

World Population Day

This year, we are delighted to be marking World Population Day on three continents. For the first time, we will be in Lagos, Nigeria and New York, USA.
Our message on July 11th is that there can be no sustainable development without sustainable population.

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18 October 2018

Report: Ageing populations are good

A new opinion paper published in Trends in Ecology & Evolution argues that societies should embrace ageing populations instead of fearing them.

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Position Statement

Current population growth is both undesirable and unsustainable.

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Optimistic assumptions required for food sufficiency for 10 billion people by 2050

Briefings and submissions

1. Climate change will not prevent continuing increases in crop yields;
2. Ocean acidification will not reduce fisheries;
3. Water will continue to be readily available for farming;

...

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