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    803811

    World population: the present and future crisis.

    Piotrow PT

    New York, Foreign Policy Association, 1980 Oct. 80 p. (Headline Series 251)

    World population will be facing serious problems in the 1980s and 1990s as a result of 2 population trends which are presently dominating the demographic scene. The number of young people aged 15-30 in developing countries is increasing rapidly and they will be soon asserting themselves politically, economically, and socially. The 2nd trend which exists is the disparity between high population growth in the impoverished developing countries and the lower rates in the affluent industrial countries. This century's population growth has occurred primarily in the developing world and is the result of lower death rates rather than higher birthrates. The situation is attributable to demographic transition; however, the major demographic questions of how quickly birthrates will fall and how wide the gap will be before birthrates follow the classic transition remain unanswered. 3 approaches to help answer these and other demographic questions are: 1) demographic approach; 2) historical approach; and 3) observation of recent events. These various approaches are given attention in this monograph. The consequences of too rapid population growth can be seen in the low food supplies which exist leaving many in developing countries undernourished, in a decline in the quality of life, in the reduction of the potential capacity to produce what is necessary (diminished land resources, pollution of water and air), in the increases in the price of energy and natural resources, in the difficulties in acquiring employment opportunities, and in burgeoning urban growth (which puts a serious strain on housing, transportation, etc.). Family planning was adopted in various countries in the world despite government policies to counter this. While there is recognition of the need for measures to be taken to reduce fertility, the question of how to accomplish this still remains. A brief overview of developing country adoption of family policies is included. What become clear is that family planning programs do make a difference in birthrate reduction and in population growth control. An effective, extensive family planning/population program exists in the People's Republic of China; Indonesia, Colombia, Tunisia, and Mauritius are other countries with successful programs. Various socioeconomic factors influence fertility and they include: literacy and education, urbanization, improvement in the status of women, health, family or community structure, development (modernization), and even the lack of development. Population and development will be greatly affected in the future by the quality and depth of leadership. Government leadership and the private sector, donor agencies, as well as international leadership, especially that of the UNFPA, will be critical. Also included here are discussion questions and reading references for those who are interested.
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