Population Matters is a membership charity that addresses population size and environmental sustainability. We believe population growth contributes to environmental degradation, resource depletion, poverty and inequality. We promote smaller families and sustainable consumption across the world, to achieve a healthy planet and a decent standard of living for all.
We were founded in 1991 in the United Kingdom (we were originally called the Optimum Population Trust) and now have thousands of members across dozens of countries. Our vision is of a sustainable future with decent living standards, a healthy environment and a stable population size. We campaign, inform, undertake research and do all we can to encourage an open, fair-minded and constructive debate about population.
The global picture
We support human rights, gender equality and global justice. We oppose any coercive measures to limit population growth or people’s freedom to choose to have a family. We believe that population is not just an issue in those places where population growth is highest: people in all countries have a responsibility to bring their populations to sustainable levels as soon as they can by ethical means. That means that where consumption and environmental impact is high, as it is in the developed world, each of us must consider the impact of our family size.
How we work
Our income comes primarily from our many individual members. We have a small team of paid staff supported by volunteers and interns. Our work and strategy is overseen by our board, which is elected from and by our guarantor members. We receive support from our distinguished patrons, who include Dr Jane Goodall and Sir David Attenborough, and guidance from our advisory council.
Please explore the links on the menu on the right side of the page to learn more about what we believe and what we do.
Note: We are unconnected with, but endorse, the blog Population Matters.