Population Research Institute

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Population Research Institute
FounderPaul Marx
Typethink tank
HeadquartersFront Royal, Virginia
Steven W. Mosher
Revenue (2016)
Expenses (2016)$1,515,580[1]

The Population Research Institute (PRI) is a non-profit organization based in Front Royal, Virginia, USA.[2] PRI describes itself as "a non-profit research group whose goals are to expose the myth of overpopulation" as well as "human rights abuses committed in population control programs, and to make the case that people are the world's greatest resource."[3] It operates programs against the advancement of contraception, sterilization, and abortion. PRI is a 501(c)(3) organization and claims contacts to pro-life groups in over 30 countries.[4] Results are being released in an own online periodical, PRI Review.[5][6]


The Population Research Institute was founded in 1989 by Paul Marx (1920–2010), a family sociologist, Catholic priest and Benedictine monk who had established Human Life International as well.[7] PRI became an independent institute in 1996.[8] The same year, the think tank got headed by Steven W. Mosher,[9][10] an anthropologist and author who studied and discovered excesses in China during the beginning of the one-child policy in the late 1970s and the early 1980s.[11] PRI opposes such practices and asserts a causal link between the one-child policy on the one hand and China's imbalanced sex-ratio as well as its aging population on the other hand.[12]

Family Care Center[edit]

As of 2015 PRI operates a facility called Family Care Center, a family welfare and crisis pregnancy center located in Saint Lucia,[13] the home country of its spiritual director, Father Linus Clovis.[14]

Defunding population control programs[edit]

According to the Los Angeles Times, PRI successfully lobbied 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.[15] This turn had been demanded by a 2002 appeal of about 140 groups the think tank had led.[16] The PRI says that its mission includes to "[e]xpose the relentless promotion of abortion, abortifacient contraception, and chemical and surgical sterilization in misleadingly labeled 'population stabilization,' 'family planning,' and 'reproductive health' programs".[17] One of the institute's drives calls to end compulsory sterilizations in India,[18] another one bases a renewed demand to defund budgets on its own investigations suggesting a lack of distance between UNFPA activities and coercive Chinese population control.[19] PRI monitored UNFPA's involvement in controversial sterilization campaigns during the Peruvian Fujimori era,[20][21] and it also investigated forceful actions against Degar women in Vietnam aimed at preventing reproduction.[22]


PRI obtains the vast majority of its funding from charitable contributions, gifts, and grants, with a total revenue of 1.31 million dollars in financial year 2016. Of this, 73.4% was spent on program expenses, 3.9% on administration, and 22.6% on fundraising.[23]

The institute has received funding from The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Inc. for conferences on human rights in China.[24]


PRI's stance on overpopulation and the arguments for "Overpopulation is a Myth" have been described as deceptive.[25][26][27]

The Ten Million Club Foundation [28] further adds to criticism,[29] accusing PRI of having a religious hidden agenda (against family planning and contraception) that motivates its (allegedly) deceiving claims, stating that those are not backed up by any original research («[PRI hasn't] as yet published a single peer review paper in any scientific journal»).

Charity Navigator classifies charities with respect to "Accountability & Transparency" and "Financial Performance". It awarded one (out of four) stars to PRI with respect to "Accountability & Transparency" and one (out of four) stars with respect to the "Financial".[30]

A rather benevolent review issued by CatholicCulture.org misses clarification from PRI in cases where the institute's website provides a research link to secular and non-Catholic contents.[31]


  1. ^ a b "Population Research Institute". Charity Navigator. 2016. Retrieved 2018-02-14.
  2. ^ CatholicCulture.org: Website Review: Population Research Institute (2014-02-19). Retrieved 2016-12-05.
  3. ^ PRI Web site: Who We Are
  4. ^ PRI Web site: Who We Are
  5. ^ PRI Web site: PRI Review
  6. ^ CatholicCulture.org: Website Review: Population Research Institute
  7. ^ PRI Web site: Our Founder: Fr. Paul Marx, O.S.B.
  8. ^ Frawley Desmond, Joan (January 20, 2012). "Steve Mosher: A Vision of "Hell" Brought Him to the Church". National Catholic Register.
  9. ^ Frawley Desmond, Joan (January 20, 2012). "Steve Mosher: A Vision of "Hell" Brought Him to the Church". National Catholic Register.
  10. ^ SourceWatch: Population Research Institute. (July 4, 2010). Retrieved 2016-12-05.
  11. ^ PRI Web site: Our President
  12. ^ PRI Web site: China Ratchets Up One-Child Policy, Part II
  13. ^ PRI Web site: A bold new project to assist mothers in need
  14. ^ PRI Web site: Meet our Board
  15. ^ Weiss, Kenneth R. (July 22, 2012). "Fertility rates fall, but global population explosion goes on". Los Angeles Times.
  16. ^ Major Coalition Urges Bush to Zero-Fund UNFPA (Population Research Institute). PR Newswire (June 20, 2002). Retrieved 2016-12-05.
  17. ^ PRI Web site: Our Mission
  18. ^ PRI Web site: Stop Forced Sterilizations in India
  19. ^ PRI Web site:Stop U.S. Tax Dollars From Funding Population Control in China
  20. ^ Francis, Babette (August 24, 2002). "POPULATION: Time to set the record straight". News Weekly. Retrieved 2016-12-05.
  21. ^ Ruse, Austin (December 14, 2001). "UN Report Confirms UN-Backed Coercive Population Control in Peru". Center for Family and Human Rights. Retrieved 2016-12-06
  22. ^ Francis, Babette (August 24, 2002). "POPULATION: Time to set the record straight". News Weekly. Retrieved 2016-12-05.
  23. ^ "Population Research Institute". Charity Navigator. 2016. Retrieved 2018-02-14.
  24. ^ "Population Research Institute". MediaTransparency. Archived from the original on March 10, 2007.
  25. ^ "IAP Statement on Population and Consumption". InterAcademy Panel: The Global Network of Science Academies (IAP).
  26. ^ A Response to Critics of Family Planning Programs. http://www.guttmacher.org/ (1 March 2009). Retrieved on 11 July 2013.
  27. ^ Global Environment Outlook - Environment for the future we want. http://www.unep.org/ (May 2012). Retrieved on 11 July 2013.
  28. ^ Ten Million Club Foundation. http://www.overpopulationawareness.org/. Retrieved on 11 July 2013.
  29. ^ Overpopulation Awareness - videos. https://www.youtube.com/. Retrieved on 23 March 2017.
  30. ^ Charity Navigator - Population Research Institute. https://www.charitynavigator.org/. Retrieved on 14 February 2018.
  31. ^ CatholicCulture.org: Website Review: Population Research Institute

External links[edit]