Unless altered, the current rate of population growth could have a crippling impact on the future welfare of the human and the natural world in this century.
The United Nations projects that the human population will increase from the current 6.8 billion to between 8 billion and 10.5 billion in 2050. Although more than half the world’s women now have an average of two children or fewer, the global population is still growing rapidly and this year there will be 78 million more births than deaths (a number slightly less than the population of Germany). Over 95 per cent of this growth is in low income countries least able to provide for these numbers.
The population factor interacts with many other key factors, from environmental change and economic growth to governance and violent conflict, and while the details of future interactions are difficult to predict, the combination of these factors poses somber threats.
We work to achieve slower population growth within a human rights framework by addressing the unmet need for family planning. Ready access to contraception and safe abortion has decreased family size, even in illiterate communities living on less than a dollar a day. We believe that meeting the unmet need for family planning will make possible a healthier, more prosperous, ecologically sustainable, and less divided world.
Our focus areas include:
- Exploring the relationship between rapid population growth and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
- Exploring the relationship between reduced barriers to fertility regulation and decline in fertility levels
- Exploring the relationship between rapid population growth and political instability and conflict
Current Population Projects:
• Bixby Forum The World in 2050: A Scientific Investigation of the Impact of Global Population Changes on a Divided Planet
• Providing evidence for the UK Parliament Report Return of the Population Growth Factor: Its Impact upon the Millennium Development Goals
• Creating population online teaching tools that explore growth and population policy