Population Matters Update - April 2016 Part I
 

Population

We have released a short video in partnership with the Media Trust, asking Londoners what they think about population growth. Many of those interviewed hugely underestimated the size of their city’s population.

Mothers experience approximately 20 per cent more stress after having children

Economists from the University of Texas have calculated the average stress-cost of having children. According to the study, the stress experienced by mothers is on average 20 – 22 per cent higher than before they had children.

Population growth will necessitate major changes to London’s infrastructure, according to a report by the London Assembly Environment Committee. Without good planning, London could face — amongst other problems — a shortage of drinkable water, contaminated flooding caused by sewage overflow, and a loss of biodiversity.

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Society

Population growth is making it harder for the UK government to combat child poverty, according to our briefing. Although the government is committed to eradicating child poverty by 2020, the Institute for Fiscal Studies predicts that 700,000 more children in the UK will be living below the breadline by then.

London’s population may exceed 13 million by 2050

Your morning commute could be made much easier if population growth were limited, according to our briefing. We argue that the UK’s growing population is putting undue pressure on national travel infrastructure.

Nearly half of British state school teachers plan to leave within the next five years, according to a survey by the Guardian newspaper. The findings raise concerns that schools will not be able to cope with the growing demand caused by population growth.

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Sustainability

Taking measures to limit population growth would help to reduce the level of air pollution in the UK and worldwide, according to our briefing. London exceeded its annual air pollution limits within two weeks this year, while its population is set to increase by a further million people within the next ten years.

Australian and Tasmanian authorities have dropped their attempt to start logging in the Tasmanian Wilderness

Australian and Tasmanian authorities have dropped their attempt to have logging permitted in the Tasmanian wilderness, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Tasmanian Wilderness covers about a fifth of the island, and is one of the world's last remaining big temperate rainforests.

Ending deforestation in Indonesia could bring an end to the devastating forest fires that cost the country $15bn (£10bn) in damage last year alone. The method of deforestation commonly used by Indonesian farmers, nicknamed ‘slash and burn’, has led to annual forest fires across the country for the past 20 years.

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Fertility

Deciding to have a smaller family can be an empowering choice for women, according to our briefing. With fewer children, a woman has more time to spend on her leisure interests and career progression.

Research suggests children from smaller families tend to be happier, healthier and more intelligent

The rate of teen pregnancy in England and Wales is continuing to fall, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). There were 23 conceptions per 1,000 15- to 17-year-old girls in 2014, compared to a high of 55 per 1,000 in 1971.

The Polish government plans to implement a scheme whereby women will receive 500 zlotys (around £90) a month for the second and subsequent child. The scheme is likely to increase Poland’s birthrate and reduce female employment.

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Population Matters Update is edited by Lily Chamberlain.


 

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