The Sustainable Number of People for each Region

...because population growth is a choice...

Institute for Population Studies - Things You Can Do

Apply for a grant. College students can apply to the Environmental Protection Agency's P3 sustainable design Expo. The P3 – People, Prosperity, and the Planet—Program is a unique college competition for designing solutions for a sustainable future. P3 offers students quality hands-on experience that brings their classroom learning to life.

Raise public awareness. Talk to your friends, to your representatives. Write letters to the newspapers, publish blogs. There has been a decline in birthrates in many parts of the world since the 1970's, part of which can be directly attributed to the success of ecologists such as Paul Ehrlich in getting the population stabilization message across. It's time for a new generation of activists to start acting.

Contact your Representatives. Find their phone, email & twitter information at

Raise your awareness of local issues such as sprawl, development, school class size, water rights, and housing markets so that you can discuss population growth's impact in your own community.

Fight city hall when developments threaten quality of life in your town. Grassroots battles are being fought and won in every State of the union - yours could be next!

Support and elect politicians who are sensitive to issues of reproductive choice here and abroad.

When you see articles on land use and environment that gloss over population as a cause, write letters to the editor to correct the oversight. For example: Business Week recently published an article about the "Water for the Poor" Act in Congress. The authors expressed some very nice sentiments about helping assure safe drinking water for all people on the planet, but wrote not a word about why water supply is becoming such a crisis in parts of the world. Several forms of assistance were suggested, but there was no mention of including contraceptives and reproductive health education to go along with any other assistance we may offer. Without such measures, we're just putting a Band-aid on a cut while the knife is still in the wound.

Consider having a smaller family and encourage others to do the same. By all means have a child or two. They are great!

Redirect government incentives for having children. We give tax breaks to people for having children, and it is the people without children who pay the lost revenue. That's the same as raising the taxes on those who don't have children. If you believe that we already have enough people in this country, support policies that redirect these incentives.

Introduce incentives for reproductive responsibility. Rather than paying people to have children, couldn't we introduce incentives to couples who choose not to have children? Once it's understood that adding 150 million people to our country by 2050 is not going to improve our lives or the lives of our children, wouldn't it make sense to give tax breaks to people with no children? Those are the people whose personal choices are building the future we desire.

Support fair legislation to reduce harmful migration. The United States is receiving immigrants at a rate unprecedented in history. This is bad for both life in the United States and abroad. Recent UN studies have shown that a steady stream of emigrants to the U.S. actually damages economic prospects in their country of origin by skimming the best educated and highly motivated people from developing countries. It has been estimated that 44 percent of America's net population growth every year comes from immigration.

Lobby for protections and insurance coverage for use of contraceptives and for people electing voluntary tubal ligation or vasectomy. Most procedures are covered by Medicaid with a mandatory 30-day waiting period. However, many service providers elect not to perform such operations, and many private insurers do not cover services.

The most effective programs that reduce birthrate worldwide are those that give women the education and opportunities to have productive lives beyond childrearing. Support these programs, and vote for politicians who will vote to make education and good jobs available.

Support family planning and education in this country and around the world. People should have the freedom not to have children if they choose. We all pay the costs of adding a billion people to the planet every 12 years. Birth control is a tiny cost compared to those. It is cost effective to provide free birth control to all people on the planet.

Support the adoption of methods of measuring public prosperity that don't rely on economic growth. Relying on measures like Gross Domestic Product leads politicians and economists to promote policies that are destructive to our ongoing well-being, and do not actually increase the economic well-being of most people. Learn more about alternate measures of economic prosperity.

Join and support organizations that promote public awareness of population issues. Even at this moment, you are benefiting from the efforts of good people doing work in this field all over the globe.

These are just a start. One of the goals of this project is to get your ideas as well, and we hope you will contribute as well. Let us know what you think about them, and share your own. Email us at
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"Unlike plagues of the dark ages or contemporary diseases we do not understand, the modern plague of overpopulation is soluble by means we have discovered and with resources we possess. What is lacking is not sufficient knowledge of the solution but universal consciousness of the gravity of the problem and education of the billions who are its victim." - Martin Luther King Jr.