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  1. 1

    The future of populous economies. China and India shape their destinies.

    Livernash R

    ENVIRONMENT. 1995 Jul-Aug; 37(6):6-11, 25-34.

    Population in 1995 was about 1.2 billion in China and about 935 million in India. Populations are expected to reach respectively 1.5 billion and 1.4 billion by 2025. These two countries now and in the future will average about 35% of total world population. This article compares the current and expected demographic, economic, and environmental conditions in China and India. How these countries manage their growth, poverty, and population will affect the region and the world as well as each nation. China's fertility is now below replacement but population momentum will increase population by about 300 million/year. India's fertility is 3.6 children/woman and India will add 450 million/year. China's population over 60 years old will reach 20% by 2020, while India's will be under 15% in 2025. China will be almost 55% urban by 2025 from 30% in the 1990s, and India will be 45% urban from 27% urban. China's economic growth has averaged over 9%/year compared to India's 5% annual growth during the 1980s and the economic decline during the 1990s. China has 12% of rural population living below the poverty line and India has about 33% of its total population impoverished. China's life expectancy is about 10 years higher. Under-five mortality is 43/1000 live births in China and 131/1000 in India. Poverty-related diseases are still high in India. China is a homogenous population with an authoritarian regime. India is a democracy with a large nongovernmental community and a heterogenous population. India has about 33% of the land area of China but over twice the agricultural land per person. About 50% of China's land and only 25% of India's land is irrigated. Water resources are problems in northern China and much of India. Air and water pollution are problems in both countries. Differences in the population-environment-development context are discussed in terms of the effects of poverty, the constraints posed by development, and the environmental impact of rising per capita consumption. It is concluded that India faces the more difficult future.
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  2. 2

    Sustainable development: a medicine for all. Population, consumption, and the environment.

    Ardila P

    In: We speak for ourselves. Population and development, [compiled by] Panos Institute. [Washington, D.C.], Panos Institute, 1994. 3-5.

    There is a development solution that assures men and woman of being truly represented, prepared to define their own needs, and capable of fulfilling their needs. It involves investing in human capital through education, improved health services, and empowerment. When the poor, women, ethnic minorities, and other disadvantaged groups are able to make informed economic and political choices, there will be fertility reductions and better use of natural resources. Sustainable development involves a partnership between the North and the South that includes new patterns of production, consumption, waste disposal, and human reproduction. The solution is simultaneous and coordinated action to deal with improving living standards, protecting and renewing natural resources, and reducing population growth. Northern development solutions frequently recognize the need to reduce poverty, however, policies have encouraged private development for higher profit margins and control of market shares, rather than poverty alleviation. The environment in the South is being jeopardized by the movement of hazardous and polluting industries into developing countries and the dumping of Northern solid and untreated factory waste in the South. The example was given of maquila factories in Mexico that make profits out of cheap labor, tax incentives and lax environmental and industrial safety measures, while, encouraging migration and not contributing to infrastructure development. The environment is being destroyed by both poverty and affluence, and unchecked population growth. The development model as reflected in the Mexican example equates development with economic growth, or a market solution to solve social problems without regard for the views and concerns of those who desire the benefits of development. Global competition through development is encouraged by the advantage of cheap labor. The assumption is that income will contribute to the satisfaction of needs. The problem is that needs are determined by market forces, or a limited number of multinational conglomerates. Press reports on the 1992 Earth Summit noticed that population growth was ignored, even though it is a major contributor to environmental degradation, but women's groups in the South countered that attention to population growth ignores other important factors and makes women pawns.
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  3. 3

    Commercialization of agriculture under population pressure: effects on production, consumption, and nutrition in Rwanda.

    von Braun J; de Haen H; Blanken J

    Washington, D.C., International Food Policy Research Institute, 1991. 123 p. (Research Report 85)

    This research reports on the effects of increased commercialization on production, household real income, family food consumption, expenditures, on nonfood goods and services, and the nutritional status of the population in Rwanda. The process by which household food consumption and nutritional status are affected by commercialization is described with emphasis on identifying the major elements and how each element is influenced by the change. The issue was whether agricultural production systems and efficient use of resources can be sustained under population pressure. The study area was the commune of Giciye in Gisenyi district in northwestern Rwanda. The area is mountainous and has very poor quality and acidic soils, with a deficiency of phosphorus. Population increase averaged 4.2%/year. There is a high prevalence of underconsumption and malnutrition. Subsistence food production is becoming increasingly more difficult. New activities include production of tea and expansion of potato production. There is beer processing from sorghum and off-farm employment. The forces driving commercialization are identified, followed by a discussion of the production and income effects of the commercialization process, the consumption relationships and effects, the consumption/nutrition/health links, and the longterm perspectives on rural development. The research design, theory, and data base are described. The conclusions were that increasing the rate of change in agricultural technology for subsistence crops would not maintain even the current levels of poverty; there must be reductions in population growth. The recommended strategy is to encourage diversification of the rural economy with specialization in both agriculture and nonagricultural products and to improve the human capital and infrastructure base. Labor productivity needs to be increased as well as employment expansion. Labor-intensive erosion control methods such as terracing are recommended as a resource investment, which are assumed to take into account women and their time constraints. Tea production which is considered a women's crop has offered off-farm employment opportunities. Consideration must be given to land tenure policy and issues of compensation for loss of land during the commercialization process. Health and sanitation measures are needed concurrently with economic development.
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  4. 4

    Development and the elimination of poverty

    Keyfitz N

    Economic Development and Cultural Change. 1982 Apr; 30(3):649-70.

    This essay argues that the drive toward a middle class style of life in developing countries has resulted over the past 30-odd years of conscious development effort in a series of negative consequences in diverse spheres: persistence of inequality, expansion of government, neglect of agriculture, and urban bias of education and research. The class context of development, the role of the middle class, the characteristics and components of the middle class life style, and the American contribution to its development are assessed, after which the methodology and results of measuring the poor and the middle class in the US and elsewhere are considered. Measurement of the middle class can be attempted through ownership of articles such as automobiles, through energy consumption, or through income: one estimate is that the global middle class increased from 200 million in 1950 to 800 million by 1980 through the addition of Japan, Europe, and some increase in the 3rd world. The nature of middle class work and the consequences of the preference for middle class work on the part of national elites for local development efforts is described, along with the related theme of the conflict between alleviation of poverty and development of an indigenous middle class in 3rd world countries. China and Brazil are viewed as the 2 extremes in this trade-off. The incentives to massive urban migration that occur in conjunction with development policies favoring the middle class are outlined. Finally, it is argued that reaching for middle class status is an explanatory rather than a policy variable. The social mechanisms that cause the spread of the middle class to take precedence over the alleviation of poverty need to be more closely examined.
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