NEW YORK, November 12, 2001 ( – The recent release of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) State of the World Population report with its fear-mongering predictions of mass overpopulation and environmental degradation and starvation, has engendered criticism even from the United Nations itself.

Joseph Chamie, director of the Population Division of the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs, which collected much of the data the UNFPA report is based on, told the Washington Times that the UNFPA was presenting the most negative scenarios to make a political point. “The relationship between population and the environment is very complex,” said Chamie. “UNFPA is a fund; they have an agenda. The Population Division does not put out a report that has any advocacy role.”

Austin Ruse of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute points out that the UNFPA report is in direct contradiction to the report of the Population Division on major issues. The UNFPA report’s main message is that the world must slow human population growth in order to save the environment. The Population Division report comes to the opposite conclusion, saying “Even for those environmental problems that are concentrated in countries with rapid population growth, it is not necessarily the case that population increase is the main root cause, nor that slowing population growth would make an important contribution to resolving the problem.”

In its report, UNFPA claims that population growth has led to poverty and lack of food. However, the Population Division notes that “From 1900 to 2000, world population grew from 1.6 billion persons to 6.1 billion. However, while the world population increased close to 4 times, world real gross domestic output increased 20 to 40 times, allowing the world to not only sustain a four-fold population increase, but also to do so at vastly higher standards of living.” With regard to the availability of food, the Population Division says, “over the period 1961-1998 world per capita food available for human consumption increased by 24 per cent, and there is enough being produced for everyone on the planet to be adequately nourished.”

Download the bleak UNFPA report at and you can get the better Population Division report at

See the Washington Times coverage:

(with files from the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute)