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An examination of the population structure of Liberia within the framework of the Kilimanjaro and Mexico City Recommendations on Population and Development: policy implications and mechanism.
In: The 1984 International Conference on Population: the Liberian experience, [compiled by] Liberia. Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs. Monrovia, Liberia, Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs, . 111-36.The age and sex composition and distribution of the population of Liberia as affected by fertility, mortality, morbidity, migration, and development are examined within the framework of the Kilimanjaro Program of Action and recommendations of the International Conference on Population held in Mexico City. The data used are projections (1984-85) published in the 2nd Socio-Economic Development Plan, 1980. The population of Liberia is increasing at the rate of 3.5% and will double in 23.1 years. 60% of the population is under 20 and 2% over 75. Projected life expectancy is 55.5 years for women and 53.4 years for men. The population is characterized by high age dependency; 47.1% of the people are under 15 and 2.9% are over 64, so that half of the population consists of dependent age groups, primarily the school-age children (6-11 years). If these children are to enter the labor force, it is estimated that 19,500 jobs will have to be created to employ them. Moreover, fertility remains at its constant high level (3.5%), so, as mortality declines, the economic problem becomes acute. Furthermore, high fertility is accompanied by high infant and maternal mortality. High infant mortality causes couples in rural areas to have more children. These interdependent circumstances point up the need for family planning, more adequate health care delivery systems, and increasing the number of schools to eradicate illiteracy, which is currently at 80%. Integrated planning and development strategies and appropriate allotment of funds must become part of the government's policy if the Kilimanjaro and Mexico City recommendations are to be implemented.
In: The 1984 International Conference on Population: the Liberian experience, [compiled by] Liberia. Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs. Monrovia, Liberia, Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs, . 9-17.The purpose of the National Seminar on Population is to disseminate in Liberia the results of the World Population Conference held in Mexico City in August 1984. Due to the complex interrelationships between population and development, one must conclude that rapid population growth has an adverse effect on development. Liberia has a high level of fertility (48-51 lives births per 1000 population) and a high mortality (18 per 1000 population). One result of these population trends is that the population is youthful, about 50% of the people being under 18. This high growth potential means that in future the resources necessary to support the population will be scarcer. Secondly, increasing rural to urban migration means that the cities will have more people than they have jobs, housing, education, or health facilities to support them and that the rural areas will be depopulated with attendant lowered agricultural production and rural poverty. Education is at least partly responsible for the rural-urban migration because it alerts young people to the increasing opportunities in the towns. The current trend of increasing fertility and declining mortality means decreased economic growth and a lower standard of living. To reduce this trend people must be made aware of the necessity to lower the birth rate as well as of the means to do it. People regard a large family as a status symbol and children as a source of labor and support in old age. These attitudes will not change until people trust that the Government is committed to the socioeconomic changes that will make practicable the shift from large households with low productivity to small families with high productivity. As part of this effort, the National Committee on Population is being expanded into a National Population Commission, responsible for coordinating population programs and drafting a national population policy.