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In: Third Asian and Pacific Population Conference (Colombo, September 1982). Selected papers. Bangkok, Thailand, Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, 1984. 9-40. (Asian Population Studies Series No. 58)This report summarizes the recent demographic situation and considers prospective trends and their development implications among the 39 members and associate members of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). It presents data on the following: size, growth, and distribution of the population; age and sex structure; fertility and marriage; mortality; international migration; growth and poverty; food and nutrition; households and housing; primary health care; education; the working-age population; family planning; the elderly; and population distribution. Despite improvements in the frequency and quality of demographic data collected in recent years, big gaps continue to exist in knowledge of the demographic situation in the ESCAP region. Available evidence suggests that the population growth rate of the ESCAP region declined between 1970 and 1980, as compared with the preceding decade, but that its rate of decline was slow. Within this overall picture, there is wide variation, with the most developed countries having annual growth rates around 1% and some of the least developed countries having a figure near 3%. The main factors associated with the high growth rates are the past high levels of fertility resulting in young age structures and continuing high fertility in some countries, notably in middle south Asia. The population of countries in the ESCAP region is expected to grow from 2.5 billion in 1980, to 2.9 billion in 1990, and to 3.4 billion persons by the year 2000. This massive growth in numbers, which will be most pronounced in Middle South Asia, will occur despite projected continuing moderation in annual population growth rates. Fertility is expected to continue its downward trend, assuming a more widespread and equitable distribution of health, education, and family planning services. Mortality is expected to decline further from its current levels, where life expectancy is often at or around 50 years. In several countries, more than 10 in every 100 babies born die before their 1st birthday. The extension of primary health care services is seen as the key to reducing this figure. Rapid population growth and poverty tend to reinforce each other. Low income, lack of education, and high infant and child mortality contribute to high fertility, which in turn is associated with high rates of natural increase. High rates of natural increase feed back to depress socioeconomic development. High population growth rates and their correlates of young age structures and heavy concentrations of persons in the nonproductive ages tend to depress production and burden government expenditure with high costs for social overhead needs. Rapid population growth emerges as an important factor in the persistence of chronic undernutrition and malnutrition. It increases the magnitude of the task of improving the educational system and exacerbates the problem of substandard housing that is widely prevalent throughout Asia.
New York, United Nations, 1984. 108 p. (Population Studies, No. 85; ST/ESA/SER.A/85)The 3 parts of this report on world, regional, and international developments in the field of population, present a summary of levels, trends, and prospects in mortality, fertility, nuptiality, international migration, population growth, age structure, and urbanization; consider some important issues in the interrelationships between economic, social, and demographic variables, with special emphasis on the problems of food supply and employment; and deal with the policies and perceptions of governments on population matters. The 1st part of the report is based primarily on data compiled by the UN Population Division. The 2nd part is based on information provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the International Labor Organization (ILO), as well as that compiled by the Population Division. The final part is based on information in the policy data bank maintained by the Population Division, including responses to the UN Fourth Population Inquiry among Governments. In 1975-80 the expectation of life at birth for the world was estimated at 57.2 years for both sexes combined. The corresponding figure for the developed and developing regions was 71.9 and 54.7 years, respectively. In 1975-80 the birthrate of the world was estimated at 28.9/1000 population and the gross reproduction rate was 1.91. These figures reflect considerable decline from the levels attained 25 years earlier: a crude birthrate of 38/1000 population and a gross reproduction rate of 2.44. World population grew from 2504 million in 1950 to 4453 million in 1983. Of the additional 1949 million people, 1645 million, or 84%, accrued to the less developed countries. The impact of population growth on economic development and social progress is not well understood. The governments of some developing countries still officially welcome a rapid rate of population growth. Many other governments see cause for concern in the need for the large increases in social expenditure, particularly for health and education, that accompany a young and growing population. Planners are concerned that the rapidly growing supply of labor, compounded by a trend toward rapid urbanization, may exceed that which the job market is likely to absorb. In the developed regions the prospect of a declining, or an aging, population is also cause for apprehension. There is a dearth of knowledge as to the impact of policies for altering the consequences of these trends. Many policies have been tried, in both developed and developing countries, to influence population growth and distribution, but the consequences of such policies have been difficult to assess. Frequently this problem arises because their primary objectives are not demographic in character.