2018 Annual Report: 50 Years of Working for Our Future

Thank you.

John SeagerFor a half-century, Population Connection (formerly ZPG) has focused on education and advocacy to achieve global population stabilization. When we were founded in 1968, there were just four countries at replacement rate fertility (2.1 births per woman). Now, there are nearly 100. That’s incredible progress, thanks, in part, to you. While we’ve made real strides over the past 50 years, the hard fact remains that our human population continues to soar every single day to levels that are ever more unsustainable. You have set Population Connection on the right track, yet we’re nowhere near our destination — and we have no time to lose.

We are proud to be America’s nationwide provider of K-12 Population Education. We train more than 12,500 teachers annually. Some 50,000 educators use our materials to teach about three million students each year. The demand for our programs continues to exceed the supply.

Just as important in these contentious times — with Trump reimposing an expanded Global Gag Rule, defunding UNFPA, and scheming to cancel all funds for international family planning — we never shy away from outspoken advocacy. Here at home, Trump and his congressional accomplices attack our friends at reproductive health clinics, such as Planned Parenthood, day and night. And from Brett Kavanaugh to district and appellate judges, Trump plots to shove our courts to the far right for decades to come.

Our best hope, without question, is the next generation. Population Connection and Population Connection Action Fund host hundreds of young activists for our Capitol Hill Days advocacy weekend every year. They lobby members of Congress to end the Global Gag Rule, to restore funding for UNFPA, and to increase the U.S. investment in international family planning. And our members like you continue to fan out all across America to raise the alarm and light the path forward. We do this without one red cent of public money. We don’t seek it. We don’t want it. We do it because of you.

Thanks to you — our 40,000 stalwart, farsighted, dues-paying members — we can remain what we’ve been for half a century: America’s grassroots movement to protect our environment and human well-being through fully empowering girls and women to make their own reproductive health decisions. Together, we will achieve zero population growth once and for all.

John Seager
President & CEO

photo, collage, annual report



Population Education

Educating tomorrow’s leaders and environmental stewards

2018 Annual Report PopEd 128 Advances Placement Summer InstitutesSince 1975, Population Education (PopEd) has inspired and engaged young people — informing generations of students about our global population problem and empowering them to come up with their own solutions. Even kindergartners grasp the concept of planting too many flowers in one pot.

Your support of PopEd allows three million young people to learn about human impacts on our environment each year. PopEd is the only nationwide program dedicated to providing professional training and resources for K-12 educators to teach their students about population growth in the classroom. It’s popular, innovative, and game changing for many young people.

PopEd’s activities and resources produce many of these “a-ha!” moments, where students realize just how much everything is connected to population growth. PopEd’s classroom activities spark questions, deepen debates, and offer young people solutions to our world’s complex problems.

PopEd’s “train the teacher” model maximizes your impact — with more than 600 professional educators volunteering their time, we train more than 12,500 teachers a year to include PopEd in their classrooms.

Much of our work with young people stems from the knowledge that we’re planting the seeds of change for a more sustainable world. This means we will have ripple effects across our nation and around the world…and for generations to come.



2018 Annual Report graduate students continuing education teachers sessions

  • 130 Advanced Placement Summer Institutes in 30 states featured PopEd curricula.
  • 3 million U.S. students learned global population concepts in K-12 classrooms.
  • 60 graduate students and continuing education teachers attended 2 sessions of PopEd’s online graduate course at Adams State University in Colorado.
  • 56 new volunteer trainers participated in 2 Leadership Institutes in Westchester County, NY and Atlanta, GA.
  • 12,500 current and future teachers received our curricular materials at workshops and conferences.
  • 15 units, including 44 teaching activities and 35 student readings, were updated in the new edition of Earth Matters: Studies for Our Global Future.
  • PopEd staff and volunteers trained 12,538 current and future teachers at 732 workshops in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and three Canadian provinces.

2018 Annual Report PopEd booth


2018 Annual Report Population Education Teachers group photo globe

World of 7 Billion

Each year, PopEd invites middle and high school students to create videos offering their solutions to global population growth and its related problems.

In 2018, World of 7 Billion student video contest participants examined the population connections to Feeding 10 Billion, Preventing Pollution, and Advancing Women and Girls. More than 5,500 students participated in the 2018 video contest. These young people are planning for a better future, thanks to you.

Ruby Ha
Benjamin Franklin Middle School, Teaneck, NJ

Ruby Ha World of 7 Billion

Ruby Ha is an eighth grader at Benjamin Franklin Middle School in Teaneck, New Jersey. She first learned about the video contest in her Video Documentary class when her teacher made it an optional project assignment. As someone who enjoys the outdoors, she’s “concerned by the prospect that the earth might not be the same one day.” Ruby wants to be a humanitarian when she grows up and believes the video contest was a “great opportunity for her to be creative and make a statement!” She’s always been aware of how a growing population negatively impacts the ecosystem of bees and decided on this as the focus of her video.

Pitt Pongpittayapa & Kritin Vongthongsri
Bangkok Christian College, Ruamrudee International School, Bang Rak, Thailand

2018 Annual Report Population Education Pitt Pongpittayapa and Kritin Vongthongsri are in the eleventh grade at Bangkok Christian College, Ruamrudee International School in Bangkok, Thailand. They discovered the World of 7 Billion contest when looking for youth competitions online and immediately knew that Sustainable Resource Use was the right category for them. Kritin says, “people really need to see the importance of finding ways to preserve our resources and use them as efficiently as possible.” Nanotechnology was an easy choice of subject: Kritin has presented his research on silver nanoparticles at a conference at Oxford University.

Jade Christman
South Forsyth High School
Cumming, GA

Jade Christman is a senior at South Forsyth High School in Cumming, Georgia. Her AP Environmental Science teacher, Mrs. Lauer, assigned the video contest as a class project. Jade, inspired by the good reception her video received from her classmates, decided to submit her video to the contest. She decided to focus on protecting human rights because she feels it is a very relevant issue in today’s world and basic human rights for all should be first step in bettering our world. She went on to share, “I learned a lot during my research on the subject of women rights in developing countries in relation towards population growth, and heartily believe that students do benefit from partaking in the contest.”

Field and Outreach

Upholding reproductive rights and expanding access to care

Every person everywhere deserves the right to make their own reproductive health care decisions, both in the U.S. and throughout the world. Investments in reproductive health care, including contraceptives and safe, legal abortion, empower women and girls to make the best decisions for themselves and their families. Upholding reproductive rights also helps to address population growth, ensuring healthy environments, thriving ecosystems, and safer societies for us all.

The fight for reproductive health and rights has never been easy. And the Trump administration brought on a whole new set of challenges.

We’re fighting back. Thanks to your support, in 2017 we launched our #Fight4HER campaign to repeal Trump’s Global Gag Rule.

Since then, Population Connection and Population Connection Action Fund have mobilized over 30,000 people in support of the Global Health, Empowerment, and Rights (HER) Act to permanently repeal Trump’s Global Gag Rule.

Staged visual protests — including a light projection on the Trump International Hotel in D.C. and mobile billboards in Nevada and Wisconsin — garnered national media attention on the anniversary of Trump imposing his expanded Global Gag Rule.



  • Field organizers collected nearly 11,000 petitions urging key members of Congress to support the Global HER Act to permanently repeal Trump’s Global Gag Rule.
  • Population Connection exhibited at the International Conference on Family Planning in Kigali, Rwanda, to connect with key stakeholders in the field of international family planning and reproductive health.
  • Advocates and organizers pushed back against the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, rallying in D.C. and key states to urge senators to reject his nomination.
  • The #Fight4HER campaign held 213 events to raise awareness about the dangers of Trump’s Global Gag Rule and garner support for the Global HER Act.
  • Over 30,000 people mobilized in support of the Global HER Act.
  • Nearly 1,000 volunteers spread awareness about the detrimental impacts of the Global Gag Rule, and pushed members of Congress to support the Global HER Act.
  • Our #Fight4HER campaign landed 103 media hits, including op-eds, letters to the editor, television interviews, and campaign coverage.

2018 Annual Report Volunteers holding #Fight4HER banner

2018 Annual Report 550 events media interview

Capitol Hill Days

2018 Annual Report 384 Activists CHDFueled with a passion for ensuring access to comprehensive reproductive health care for people around the world, nearly 350 advocates gathered in D.C. to learn, organize, and take action during Population Connection and Population Connection Action Fund’s annual Capitol Hill Days. Attendees representing 25 states and D.C. met with 169 congressional offices to advocate for increased international family planning funding, including restoration of support for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and for the repeal of Trump’s Global Gag Rule.

Throughout 2018, our activists and supporters like you demanded greater access to reproductive health care for everyone, regardless of where in the world they live. We’re committed to this fight in 2019 and beyond.


  • 348 activists from 25 states and D.C. attended Capitol Hill Days and lobbied 169 legislators.
  • 310 student advocates received member-sponsored scholarships to attend Capitol Hill Days.



Global Collaboration

Supporting direct health care services abroad

In 2018, Population Connection deepened collaborations with international organizations whose work complements our mission. While the vast majority of our work is here in the U.S., Population Connection supported an array of global programs, thanks to you, including:


This Ugandan organization improves the health of villagers surrounding the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, one of the last natural habitats for the mountain gorilla. One key component of its health program is family planning — improving maternal and child outcomes while slowing human population growth and encroachment on gorilla habitat.

2018 Annual Report PopConnect CTPH

Population Connection staff join CTPH in Uganda for a hands-on tour of its programs

Our partnership with Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH) last year ensured that 30,000 people in villages surrounding the park would gain access to family planning. CTPH has seen great success from its family planning outreach programs, with a reported 200% increase in contraceptive prevalence in four of the parishes where the organization works. Furthermore, CTPH contributed to the fertility rate of Kanungu District dropping from 6.7 births per woman to 4.2.


Between 2009 and 2016, Family Health Options Kenya (FHOK) played an instrumental role in reducing unmet need for contraceptives in that country from 26% to 18%. The organization provided patients with some three million services across Kenya in 2016 alone.

PopConnect staff
Population Connection staff visit FHOK facilities in Nairobi.

We started working with FHOK in 2017, when Trump imposed his cruel Global Gag Rule. With the swipe of his pen, Trump put millions of women’s lives at risk. FHOK refused to deny its patients medically accurate, comprehensive care, and so lost more than half of its operating budget. FHOK will be forced to close more than half of its clinics in Kenya — severing access to reproductive health care and family planning for millions of women. We have continued working with FHOK to spotlight stories of providers and their patients most at risk from the disastrous fallout of the Global Gag Rule.


Ipas works in countries around the world to advocate for access to safe abortion and crucial contraceptive care. Population Connection helped Ipas Nigeria to provide local media with accurate information about Trump’s Global Gag Rule, to capture stories reflecting its harmful impact, to galvanize local advocacy around safe abortion access, and to publicize ways the Nigerian government could fill reproductive health service gaps created by Trump’s Global Gag Rule.

 Shekarau, Country Director of Ipas Nigeria, calls on Congress to permanently repeal Trump’s Global Gag Rule at our #Fight4HER rally in Washington, D.C.



Membership Engagement

Volunteers raising awareness in communities across the country

We’re an organization founded on grassroots activism and support. ZPG spread across college campuses in the late 60s, launching a movement that would endure for decades. Last year, more than 280 Population Connection members volunteered their time to raise awareness about global population issues at community events in 37 states. You gathered more than 2,000 signatures urging legislators to repeal Trump’s Global Gag Rule and to make crucial investments in U.S. international family planning programs.

2018-Annual Report Attendees Earth Day Dallas Texas

2018 Annual Report Member Cynthia S. Earth Day Orlando FL

2018 Annual Report Tucson AZ Earth Day

Left to right: Earth Day events in Dallas, Texas; Orlando, Florida; and Tucson, Arizona

From Poughkeepsie to Portland, you inspired and engaged an estimated 12,000 people at farmers markets, Earth Day fairs, Veg Fests, film screenings, and more.

We thank our volunteers for their tireless work — and thank all of our 40,000 dues-paying members for supporting important volunteer outreach like this nationwide. There’s no more critical message for people concerned about the state of our environment or human health and well-being: Global population growth must be addressed if we’re to solve any of our world’s pressing challenges.


2018 Annual Report Financials


Population Connection 50th Anniversary Timeline
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We Are Population Connection

Since 1968, Population Connection (formerly Zero Population Growth or ZPG) has been America's voice for population stabilization—we are the largest grassroots population organization in the United States! As a 501(c)(3) charity, all donations made to us are tax-deductible.

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Your tax-deductible membership dues help us advocate for universal access to birth control, educate tomorrow’s leaders about global population challenges, and mobilize Americans who care about stabilizing population. Your on-going support is vital to our continued success!

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