PRIORITY INVESTMENT Category
Successful family planning efforts enable families to decide how many children they will have and to determine the interval between each pregnancy. Particularly in low- and middle-income countries, unintended pregnancies and inadequate intervals between pregnancies can have a damaging effect on rates of maternal and child mortality.1 At a national level, moreover, higher-than-desired fertility rates make it harder for governments to expand services to help people escape poverty.2 Yet limits on the availability of family planning resources persist in many parts of the world: By one estimate, more than 200 million women of reproductive age in developing countries lack access to modern contraceptives.3
Family planning interventions include improvements in contraceptive access, counseling, and education.4 Data show that effective family planning results in better health outcomes for both mothers and children, improved earnings for mothers, and increased educational attainment for children.5 On a macroeconomic level, reductions in fertility rates can foster economic growth by decreasing youth dependency rates and by enabling the development of a healthier, better-educated workforce.6 According to a major study, improved family planning is also one of the five most effective interventions to address climate change.7
Related Portfolio Organizations
- John Cleland, et al. “Contraception and Health.” The Lancet, vol. 380, no. 9837, July 2012, pp. 149-156.
- “The State of World Population 2018: The Power of Choice: Reproductive Rights and the Demographic Transition.” UNFPA, 2018.
- “Adding it Up: Investing in Contraception and Maternal and Newborn Health, 2017.” The Guttmacher Institute, December 2017.
- “Family Planning/Contraception.” World Health Organization, February 2014.
- James Gribble and Maj-Lis Voss. “Family Planning and Economic Well-Being: New Evidence from Bangladesh.” Population Reference Bureau, May 2009.
- David Canning and T. Paul Shultz. “The Economic Consequences of Reproductive Health and Family Planning.” The Lancet, vol. 380, no. 9837, July 2012, pp. 165-171.
- Project Drawdown. “Health and Education.”