FACT CHECK: Did Famous Primatologist Jane Goodall Advocate For Depopulation?

Anna Mock | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook allegedly shows primatologist Jane Goodall advocating for depopulation. 

Verdict: Misleading

The clip is taken out of context. There is no evidence Goodall said this.

Fact Check: 

Goodall recently said 2024 is “the most consequential voting year,” according to New York Times. More than 40 countries, including the U.S., India and South Africa, will be electing new leaders this year, the outlet reported.

A Facebook video claims Goodall has advocated for depopulation. The post shares a split screen video with Goodall speaking at the World Economic Forum (WEF) on top and a video of a wide-eyed man on the bottom.

The video shows Goodall saying, “We cannot hide away from human population growth because, you know, it underlies so many of the other problems. All these things we talked about wouldn’t be a problem if there was the size of population that there was 500 years ago.” 

“YOU ARE THE CARBON THEY WANT TO REDUCE,” the video’s text reads. “I use (sic) to have such big respect for Jane Goodall until I just recently watched a speech she gave talking about the depopulation of humans and I was like WWHHAATT??!!” the caption reads.

The clip is taken out of context, however. The full video was posted on YouTube by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in January 2020. Although it includes the Goodall clip seen in the Facebook video at around the 31:35 mark, at no point does Goodall mention depopulation or suggest it as a potential solution.

She does suggest eating less meat, stopping land being used for cattle and eliminating political corruption as examples of solutions. The primatologist mentions overpopulation needs to be addressed, but does not suggest depopulation as a solution.  (RELATED: Did Bill Gates Write An Article Titled ‘Depopulation Through Forced Vaccination’?)

There are no credible news reports about Goodall making comments in favor of depopulation.

Check Your Fact has reached out to a spokesperson for the Jane Goodall Institute and the WEF and will update this piece accordingly if a comment is received. 

Anna Mock

Fact Check Reporter