Population Matters

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Population Matters
Population Matters logo.jpg
Founded 1991
Founder(s) David Willey
Key people Simon Ross (CEO)
Focus(es) Impact of population growth
Motto "for a sustainable future"
Website populationmatters.org

Population Matters, formerly known as the Optimum Population Trust,[1] is a registered United Kingdom charity,[2] think tank, and campaign group concerned with the impact of population growth on long term sustainability, quality of life and the natural environment, specifically natural resources, climate change, and biodiversity.

Population Matters researches climate change, energy requirements, biodiversity, and other environmental factors in relation to population numbers. It campaigns for population stabilisation and gradual decrease to sustainable levels for both the world and the United Kingdom. In 2009, the organisation issued a study asserting that contraception was the cheapest way of combating climate change. [3]

The trust states that its intermediate aims are: improved provision of family planning and sex education, better education and rights for women, and that couples voluntarily "have two or fewer". For the UK specifically, it advocates greater effort to reduce the high rates of teenage pregnancy and unintended pregnancy and that immigration be brought into balance with emigration.

The Optimum Population Trust was founded in 1991 by the late David Willey. It was granted charitable status on 9 May 2006. The working name was changed to Population Matters in February 2011.


The current chair is Roger Martin. Past chairs, in chronological order, were:

  • David Willey
  • Edmund Davey
  • Rosamund McDougall and John Guillebaud (co-chairs)
  • John Guillebaud
  • Val Stevens
  • Sue Birley
  • Val Stevens


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