Population Matters

Poll shows that British support smaller families

Poll shows that British support smaller families

Crowd of peopleA YouGov survey released today shows support for smaller families and an end to UK population growth.

Commented Simon Ross, chief executive of Population Matters, “The survey confirms the results of other studies we have conducted in recent years. People would prefer population to fall rather than to continually increase. The results support some of the key policies we advocate to stabilize and ultimately reduce our unsustainable numbers. Politicians should respond to this support by taking action to address our growing numbers, with all the problems they cause for housing and service provision, employment, resource sustainability, limiting carbon emissions and the environment.”

With global human numbers growing by 80 million a year1, 83 per cent of those questioned thought that it would be better if the future world population stayed the same size or fell.

Similarly, with the UK population growing by two million every decade2, driven by relatively high birth and net migration rates, 84 per cent of those questioned thought that it would be better if the future UK population stayed the same or fell.

Almost two-thirds (63 per cent) of respondents thought that, when deciding how many children to have, people should take into account at least one of the following: the future availability of housing, services and amenities; natural resource limits, and environmental conservation. Of these respondents, just over half (51%) thought that people should have no more than two children.

UK border control

Most respondents supported a move towards balanced migration in the UK (54 per cent) and limiting child tax credit (51 per cent) and child benefit (50 per cent) to the first two children in each household in the UK, with payments for further children being means tested.

There was also support for better sex and relationships education in schools (49 per cent), better family planning services (41 per cent) and promoting smaller families (37 per cent).

The study was commissioned by Population Matters from YouGov. A sample of 2,362 individuals selected to be representative of UK adults completed the survey online during 15 and 16 May 2014. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

1. Source: UNDESA Population Division

2. Source: Office for National Statistics

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