Population Matters

The benefits of small families

The benefits of small families

We have released a briefing on the benefits of small families.

Small family

Small families have a beneficial effect on many aspects of life. Small families are a source of well-being for family members, have a limited environmental impact and enable many women to be more fulfilled.

Small families are good for children. With fewer siblings, a child experiences less “resource dilution” — (s)he benefits from higher quality attention from his or her parents, potentially resulting in greater achievement.

Parents also benefit from having a small family. The cost of supporting a child from cradle to college is considerable, so parents who have fewer children experience less pressure on their finances, often giving them a more relaxed lifestyle and the ability to enjoy more time with their family.

Small families have additional benefits in the developing world. Small size allows families to increase per person expenditures on food, dedicate more time to work or leisure and reduce health risks.

Small family

Having a small family is a step toward sustainability. Every human has a carbon footprint, so having fewer children is one of the most environmentally friendly steps we can take to reduce our impact on our planet and its climate and biodiversity.

Today, many organisations are challenging cultural norms. Gateway Women, for example, celebrates the lives of childless individuals. This is an important step in challenging the idea that people — women in particular — must have children to lead worthwhile lives.

We urge you to have a small family and join others who have pledged to have two or fewer children.

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