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The Bulgarian experience, statement made at the Special Convocation, Sofia State University, Sofia, Bugaria, 7 October, 1983.
New York, N.Y., UNFPA, . 5 p.Although world fertility has entered a perceptible period of decline heralding a deceleration in the rate of population growth, even with the current rate, which is about 1.7%/year, the world is still adding close to 78 million people to its population each year. This figure is estimated to rise to 89 million by the year 2000. A major concern confronting most developing countries at present is the integration of population factors into the development process. In this context, Bulgaria's progress in the twin fields of population and development provides an outstanding example of what can be achieved. Demographic development in the country since 1950 has been impressive. Although the bulk of transition in fertility and growth rate of population had occurred by 1950, the consistent improvement in health services has achieved at an early date what was sought by the World Population Plan of Action in its 2 quantified targets: lower infant mortality rates and longer life expectancy. A major reason for this success is the official policy in regard to the full integration of women into the development process. Internally, Bulgaria pursues a pronatalist policy. Within the context of Bulgaria's national goals of development objectives and human resource potential, this policy is understandable. Bulgaria's population program includes activities to reduce infant and child mortality, improve maternal health, augment reproductive health and increase marital fertility. The United Nations Fund for Population Activities, because of its respect for the sovereign rights of countries to determine their own population policies, has provided assistance for the implementation of this national program.