For a half-century, Population Connection (formerly Zero Population Growth) has been focused on education and advocacy to achieve population stabilization. While we’ve made real progress, the hard fact remains that population continues to soar every single day to levels that are ever more unsustainable. A brief balance sheet:
The Bad News
- World population grows by more than 226,000 each day, 83 million each year.
- Climate chaos is now a reality, with population growth the number one cause — a fact roundly ignored by too many experts.
- Nearly half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are still unplanned.
- Access to reproductive health services is under constant assault by Right Wing extremists.
- There are 214 million women in developing nations who don’t want to become pregnant, yet aren’t using modern contraception.
- Apart from condoms, there are still no reliably reversible methods of male contraception.
- Africa’s population is projected to more than triple, to 4.5 billion people, by 2100.
The Good News
- When we were founded, only four nations were at or below replacement rate fertility (2.1 children per woman). Today there are nearly a hundred such nations.
- Mexico is estimated to have reached replacement rate, having seen its family size plummet from 6.75 children per woman when we were founded to just 2.14 today.
- The Western Hemisphere as a whole is now below replacement rate.
- Average family size in the U.S. has dropped by 28 percent, from 2.5 children at our founding to 1.8 children today.
- The U.S. teen birth rate is more than 70 percent lower than when we were founded.
- FDA-approved long acting reversible contraception (LARC) — 200 times more effective than birth control pills — is covered for insured Americans at no cost.
Population Connection is 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 12,000 teachers annually. Some 50,000 educators use our materials to teach about 3 million students each year. The demand for our programs continues to exceed the supply.
Just as important in these contentious times, we never shy away from outspoken advocacy — with Trump reimposing an expanded Global Gag Rule, defunding UNFPA, and trying to cancel all funds for bilateral international family planning assistance. Here at home, he and his congressional accomplices attack our friends at Planned Parenthood day and night. And from Neil Gorsuch to district and appellate judges, Trump schemes to shove our courts to the far right for decades to come.
Our best hope, without question, is the next generation. Population Connection, along with Population Connection Action Fund, proudly hosted hundreds of college student activists in March for our annual Capitol Hill Days advocacy weekend, where they lobbied 169 members of Congress. And we constantly 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. Thanks to our stalwart, farsighted 40,000 dues-paying members, we can be what we’ve been for half a century: America’s strong, sound, unapologetic voice for population stabilization.