Population Research Institute

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Population Research Institute
FounderPaul Marx
TypeThink tank
HeadquartersFront Royal, Virginia
Steven W. Mosher
John Delmare[1]
Revenue (2018)
Expenses (2018)$1,405,812[1]

The Population Research Institute (PRI) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Front Royal, Virginia, US.[1] The organization's activities reflect a 'pro-life' perspective. They believe that overpopulation is a myth. They oppose abortion and hormonal birth control in females[2] and vasectomies in males.[3] In addition, the organization issues opinion pieces questioning the veracity of human driven climate change[4] and the natural origin of COVID-19.[5]


The Population Research Institute was founded in 1989 by Paul Marx (1920–2010), a family sociologist, Catholic priest and Benedictine monk who had established the anti-abortion[6] group Human Life International as well. It became an independent institute in 1996.[7] The same year, the think tank got headed by Steven W. Mosher,[7][8] a social researcher and author who had witnessed forced abortions in China during the implementation of the one-child policy in 1980.[7]


PRI opposes government attempts to control the population.[9] According to the Los Angeles Times, PRI's Mosher successfully helped lobby the George W. Bush administration to withhold US$34 to $40 million per year for seven years from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the largest international donor to family planning programs.[10] The research institute opined that UNPFA was using American money to fund Chinese compulsory sterilization and abortions, a claim denied by the population fund, noting that it does not work in areas where the one-child policy in still in force.[6] Mosher also advocated against the Chinese two-child policy, claiming that it was "being pushed to the masses through the communist party mechanism".[11]


PRI obtains the vast majority of its funding from charitable contributions, gifts, and grants, with a total revenue of 1.46 million dollars in financial year 2018. Of this, 75.6% was spent on program expenses, 4.9% on administration, and 19.3% on fundraising.[1]

The institute has received funding from The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Inc., claimed to be in support of conferences on human rights in China.[12]


PRI's stance on overpopulation and the arguments for "Overpopulation is a Myth" have been described as deceptive.[13][14]

Charity Navigator classifies charities with respect to "Accountability & Transparency" and "Financial Performance". In 2020 it awarded two out of four stars to PRI for "Accountability & Transparency", and one for "Financial", which combined for an overall score of 70.46, rated as two stars.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Rating for Population Research Institute (based on 2018 financial year, the latest available at publication date)". Charity Navigator. 1 February 2020. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  2. ^ "Physician's Group Warns of Serious Health Risks Associated with Hormonal Contraception, Calls for Stricter Labeling". PRI. 2020-08-18. Retrieved 2020-11-23.
  3. ^ "Long-Term Complications of Male Vasectomies". PRI. 2001-07-01. Retrieved 2020-11-23.
  4. ^ "Climate Change Home". Population Resource Institute. Retrieved 2020-11-23.
  5. ^ "Coronavirus Updates". Population Resource Institute. Retrieved 2020-11-23.
  6. ^ a b Crossette, Barbara (2002-04-07). "U.N. Agency On Population Blames U.S. For Cutbacks". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-03-22.
  7. ^ a b c Frawley Desmond, Joan (January 20, 2012). "Steve Mosher: A Vision of "Hell" Brought Him to the Church". National Catholic Register.
  8. ^ SourceWatch: Population Research Institute. (July 4, 2010). Retrieved 2016-12-05.
  9. ^ Stanway, David (March 12, 2019). "China lawmakers urge freeing up family planning as birth rates plunge". Reuters. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  10. ^ Weiss, Kenneth R. (July 22, 2012). "Fertility rates fall, but global population explosion goes on". Los Angeles Times.
  11. ^ Maizura Ismail (September 5, 2018). "Baby-making in the name of the nation". The ASEAN Post. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  12. ^ "Population Research Institute". MediaTransparency. Archived from the original on March 10, 2007.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  13. ^ "IAP Statement on Population and Consumption". InterAcademy Panel: The Global Network of Science Academies (IAP).
  14. ^ A Response to Critics of Family Planning Programs. http://www.guttmacher.org/ (1 March 2009). Retrieved on 11 July 2013.

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