Educating Women–the Most Effective Population Control

Educating Women–the Most Effective Population Control

This may be too political for some but I feel strongly about this:

If nature could talk, it would yell “Stop your rate of populating.”

I clipped two editorials from The Los Angeles Times on population growth this year: one, an op-ed by Paul Ehrlich (author of the 1968 book “The Population Bomb”) wasn’t too surprising, but the LA Times editorial said the following: “No matter how efficient we become at growing food, the Earth cannot provide for an infinitely increasing population.”

Here are things that grabbed my attention from the two articles and a talk I attended recently:

  • The highest rates are in poverty-stricken countries with low education levels (Nigeria and Yemen are two expecting  quadruple growth). The number of children drops with more education: Women with no schooling have an average of 4.5 children. With one more year of schooling, that drops to 3.
  • Due to funding cuts of family planning overseas,  one-fourth of African women have NO access to birth control methods.
  • One in five births is a result of unwanted pregnancy. Without these, fertility would be below the replacement level, the rate needed to maintain the current population.

From Ehrlich’s op-ed:

  • Whatever your cause, it’s a lost cause without population control.
  • Get out in nature, even if it’s in your backyard. Learn where food comes from – not the supermarket.
  • The importance of strong leadership – It would take guts but imagine an American president saying, “Patriotic Americans stop at two [children].”

Takeaways for me:

  • Support education of women
  • If population control is taboo because it brings up religious beliefs,  intimate choices and/or government control, look at your consumption and try to reduce that.
  • Consider charity donations.

Two I like: 34 Million Friends.  I’ve met and highly respect the co-founder Jane Roberts, who started the organization in 2002 after$34 million was withheld from the UN Family Planning Association (UNFPA). Their goal is to get $1 from 34 million people to make up for the shortfall at the time (which by the way, ended up at $224 million!)  They’ve raised well over $4 million.

Remember ZPG – it’s now Population Connection:

About Linda Richards

My goal is to educate about the science of nature in layperson speak, through my writing, science and education background. I grew up in the Chicago area, loved living in Minneapolis before gravitating to the West, which is now home.


  1. Thank you, Linda, for this. I googled “most effective population growth organizations,” and your blog article came up near the top of the first page. Indeed, we could say this subject is not “too political” since science supports population reduction and does not support increasing the human population. So it’s scientific. Some studies even from 2-4 decades ago suggest that, long term, over the next 10,000 years or so, the earth could not/cannot support more than about 2.2 billion people. That was the human population not so long ago, and that needs to be a global goal. Thanks again.

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