Vol. 5 No. 2 (2021)
Peer Reviewed Articles

Post-materialism as a basis for achieving environmental sustainability

Douglas Booth
Marquette University
Text-only image of the cover of this issue, grey green background.

Published 2021-08-01


  • Post-Materialism,
  • Sustainability,
  • Population Growth,
  • Post-Growth Economy

How to Cite

Booth, D. (2021). Post-materialism as a basis for achieving environmental sustainability. The Journal of Population and Sustainability, 5(2), 97–125. https://doi.org/10.3197/jps.2021.5.2.97


A recent article in this journal, 'Achieving a Post-Growth Green Economy', argued that a turn to post-material values by younger generations may be setting the stage for a more environmentally friendly, post-growth green global economy. To expand the foundations for the possible emergence of such an economy, the current article offers empirical evidence from the World Values Survey for the propositions that individual post-material values and experiences leads to (1) a reduction in consumption-oriented activities, (2) a shift to more environmentally friendly forms of life that include living at higher, more energy efficient urban densities, (3) having families with fewer children, and (4) greater political support for environmental improvement. Such behavioral shifts provide a foundation for a no-growth, or even a negative-growth, economy among the affluent nations of the world leading to declining rates of energy and materials throughput to the benefit of a healthier global biosphere.


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