Why population matters


“All our environmental problems become easier to solve with fewer people, and harder — and ultimately impossible — to solve with ever more people.”
 – Sir David Attenborough, Population Matters patron


Our population is growing beyond sustainable means, and our Earth has finite resources. In just two generations the number of people on Earth has doubled to almost 7.6 billion, and we are adding an extra 80 million each year. 

We have to address the issue of overpopulation. 

More people inevitably put more demands on the planet. More people demand more water, sanitation, services, clothes and homes – but our Earth is struggling to cope.

And we're having a detrimental effect on our natual environment. Increasing numbers of people lead to more development, pollution and exploitation of the natural world.

Climate change, too, is arguably caused by human activity – every additional person increases carbon emissions. Steps to reduce and mitigate the effects of climate change won't be enough if we can't control population growth.

We’re facing an environmental crisis unless we can change our ways.

Together, we can do something about it.

The UN's low projection of world population is 7.4 billion by 2100. The high projection is an unthinkable 16.6 billion by the same year.

We believe this lower projection is possible. We can achieve a sustainable global population when communities, governments and organisations take action to encourage smaller families through choice, education and access to family planning. By doing so, we can ensure that, in the future, everyone can have a decent standard of living on a healthy planet – something to which we all have a right.

Population Matters is putting an increasing population on the global agenda, bringing the issue to an international audience through our campaigning, education and research.

Find out what you can do to take action.