According to Population Education, social and environmental issues center around population growth. Teaching population education ties real world learning to the subjects of ecology, human geography, economics, public health, history and civics. Educating students on their impact helps to reduce the human footprint to a sustainable level.
The human population has grown from 1 billion to 7 billion in the last 200 years. Population education helps students understand how that growth affects them, and how their actions shape the world around them.
Population education was first introduced in 1935 by the Population Commission of Sweden. The commission expressed its concern during a time where the birth rate was lagging, recommending an educational program aimed at influencing fertility behavior. Similar population studies were suggested in the United States in 1937 and 1938, also during a period of low birth rate, but no curriculum was introduced into the school systems at that time.
In the 1960s, the idea of population education was seriously reconsidered. The concern at that time shifted from the slow growth in the 1930s to the rapid growth of later years. In the 1950s and 1960s, several countries made great efforts to educate adults on the consequences of a high birth.