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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.
WORLD HEALTH STATISTICS QUARTERLY. RAPPORT TRIMESTRIEL DE STATISTIQUES SANITAIRES MONDIALES. 1991; 44(4):189-97.The world's urban population, at 2048 million in 1985 is projected to increase by 56% to 3197 million by 2000, and another 72% to 5.493 million by 2025. This urbanization will grow by natural increase, rural-urban migration, and declining mortality. 28 mega-cities of >8 million are expected by 2000. In many Latin American countries cities will account for most of the population increase; in parts of Africa, Asia and China, spectacular increases in urban population is expected. In many of these areas the phenomenon called the "demographic trap" rather than a proper demographic transition seems to be occurring, that is stagnation in the phase of high fertility despite a decline in death rates. The patterns of urbanization peculiar to regions and continents are described, such as the "core regions" around Buenos Aires and Mexico City. Unlike the historical urbanization that accompanied the Western industrial revolution, current urbanization is not driven by economic opportunity but by rural poverty and ecological collapse, and aggravated by recession, external debt, natural disasters and welfare, among other factors. It is estimated that 50% of urban dwellers will subsist in extreme poverty, and they will account for 25% of the world's population by 2000. 30% of these households are headed by women, >50% in Latin America. Policies that governments have applied unsuccessfully to reverse urbanization include disincentives for rural urban migration, land reform, rural minimum wage, tax reform, agricultural subsidies, an urban decentralization settlement. More effective policies are integrated rural and urban development, coercive measures to prevent migration accompanied by economic incentives for rural areas, and resettlement schemes. Some positive cultural developments in urban slums are cited as stemming from the resourcefulness of the squatters, such as growing food.
International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. 1977 Jun; 1(2):272-92.This paper argues that rapid urbanization in West Africa since 1950 has been accompanied by severe inequalities, and has been wasteful in immediate economic terms. The inequalities are of 3 types: imbalance in life choices between the rural and urban sectors, concentration of extremely limited resources in capital cities to the detriment of other cities, and economic disparity within cities between the masses and the tiny elites. 2 approaches suggest that the allocation of resources represented by current urbanization patterns is inefficient for economic growth: 1) the demonstration that resources are wasted in urban unemployment and underemployment, in metropolitan growth, and in uncontrolled urban settlement, and 2) the evidence that political processes are consistently biased towards the interests and concerns of a small group of decision makers and that various other factors interfere directly with investment decisions casts doubt on the assumption that recent patterns of urbanization are the outcome of an optimizing allocation of resources. The relative wealth of the richer West African countries, Liberia, the Ivory Coast, Senegal, and Ghana, is not manufactured in the urban areas but is derived from the extraction of iron ore and phosphates, the production of rubber plantations and the labor of peasants growing cocoa, coffee, and peanuts. The rapid growth of the urban populations is the consequence of the concentration of economic opportunities in the urban sector. Rural emigation depresses aggregate rural production but does not increase urban production and in fact drives down the wages of the large underemployed marginal sector. The major West African countries continue to attract migrants because the wages paid there and the available urban amenities represent a considerable improvement over the living conditions of much of the rural population. Despite the difficulty of determining optimal city size, it appears that cities of over 500,000, which now include 5 in West Africa, suffer serious disadvantages in terms of environment, services, and amenities. West African capitals have taken on regional political characteristics because of their locations on the fringes of their national territories, and ethnic differences have been added to economic disparities between the capital and other regions. The squalor and poverty suffered by the majority of the urban population is clear. Projections of urbanization trends in West Africa serve as a warning that policy changes are urgently required. The ordinary people of West Africa must have an increased role in local political processes.
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.