NPG Releases New Position Paper - Urgently Needed Now: A National Policy to Reduce U.S. Population

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Sees Census Bureau projections as evidence for critical need to slow, halt, and eventually reverse U.S. population growth.

We are living at a momentous time in history. We still have the power - if we can only develop the will - to halt and reverse population growth.

With conservative Census Bureau projections estimating that our nation’s population will reach 420 million or more by 2060, Negative Population Growth (NPG) released a new position paper on July 28th highlighting the urgent need for a national policy to decrease U.S. population size.

In the position paper, NPG President Donald Mann states: “It is widely recognized that further population growth carries with it the threat of catastrophic environmental disaster… a very real possibility. But we are also faced with the virtual certainty that further population growth, and even population stabilization at more than some fraction of today’s numbers, will condemn billions of men, women, and children…” to an unlivable future.

Mann notes: “If humanity is, or should be, in the business of trying to eliminate hunger and poverty, of trying to create a society that will be sustainable indefinitely in a sound and healthy environment, with a base of material prosperity that will minimize human suffering and allow civilization to flourish, then we had better set about without further delay to halt and then reverse population growth.”

Mann suggests that, while the task of reversing the tide of population growth may seem overwhelming, we must not give in to the temptation of further avoidance – nor continue to worship the false hope of technological salvation. “We can have either overpopulation, or a good life. We cannot, with all our science and technology, to which we owe so much, have both. No responsible scientist can discern any scientific or technological miracle on the horizon that could save us from the inevitable consequences of overpopulation.”

Mann also warns against placing our ultimate faith in “green” movements or simply reducing our consumption of natural resources – the so-called “solutions” proposed by many proponents of further growth. He notes: “Conservation measures, the elimination of waste, increased recycling, and simplification of lifestyles are all necessary. They would not be sufficient, however, to reduce material demand to a sustainable level, without a substantial reduction in our numbers.”

However, Mann is not without hope for the future. In the position paper, he adds: “We are living at a momentous time in history. We still have the power – if we can only develop the will – to halt and reverse population growth.” That moment, however, he believes will be short-lived. Mann warns: “That power, if not exercised, may no longer exist even a few years from now.”

He concludes: “The population size of the United States is a vital national issue. Our individual welfare and national well-being are inextricably bound up with this question. Eventually, U.S. population must be stabilized. …It is becoming increasingly apparent that our resource base is simply not adequate to support our present numbers, let alone a larger population size. …Only with an explicit national population policy could such a reduction in population be achieved.”

Founded in 1972, NPG is a national nonprofit membership organization dedicated to educating the American public and political leaders regarding the damaging effects of population growth. We believe that our nation is already vastly overpopulated in terms of the long-range carrying capacity of its resources and environment. NPG advocates the adoption of its Proposed National Population Policy, with the goal of eventually stabilizing U.S. population at a sustainable level – far lower than today’s. We do not simply identify the problems – we propose solutions. For more information, visit our website at

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