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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.
Causes of mortality change: observations based on the experience of selected countries in the ESCAP Region.
In: Mortality and health issues: review of current situation and study guidelines. Bangkok, Thailand, U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, 1985. 93-97. (Asian Population Studies Series No. 63.)In the past 30 years or so, mortality has declined in all countries, and the member countries of Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) are no exception to this general trend. Standardization is most often used in a limited fashion to account for the effect on demographic indices of a changing age and sex structure of the population; this chapter uses it to examine the fast decline in mortality. A decline in mortality may be due to any of the following processes: 1) reduction of exposure to risk, or an increased proportion of the population protected from the risk by immunization or other preventive measures; 2) introduction of effective treatment may result in the considerable reduction of case fatality, and hence of mortality from a given disease; and 3) intervention along both lines. Foremost among the studies of variation of mortality levels among the countries at various stages of socioeconomic development are those associating measures of national income and life expectancy at birth. Economic advance appears not to be a major factor in more recent mortality reductions; a large part of the decline has resulted from the application of broad-based public health programs of insect control, environmental sanitation, and immunization. Mother's educational level, family income, family size, and pattern of child spacing have demonstrable effects on the probability of child survival. Further advancement to understand the complex fabric of social and bioligical processes involved in health protection and health impairments that often lead to death requires joint formulation at the planning stage of methodologies and concepts combining suitable factors from different disciplines. The multidisciplinary approach to research in mortality would lend assurance to the results of studies and would provide a firmer basis for the development of relevant policies to reduce morbidity and mortality.
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.
Population Bulletin of the United Nations. 1982; (14):54-65.Previous systems of model life tables were based on empirical data from the now developed countries (the Coale and Demeny models) or, when patterns from less developed countries were included (the original UN set and the Lederman set), included data of poor or unknown quality. However, with the advent of new demographic techniques of data evaluation and of improved survey, census, and vital registration systems, it has become possible to construct a new model life table system based on reliable data from less developed countries and hence more applicable to demographic analysis within that milieu. The new UN model life tables are based on carefully evaluated age-sex specific mortality data found in developing countries. Analysis of these data indicated 4 major age patterns of mortality. These patterns have been labelled the Latin American pattern, the Chilean pattern, the South Asian pattern, and the Far Eastern pattern, according to the geographical region predominant in each pattern. An overall average pattern, labelled the general pattern, has also been constructed. Along with the model life tables themselves, the UN is also producing models of sex differences in life expectancy, single-year mortality, and stable populations. A manual of computer programs to facilitate use of these models is also being prepared. (author's)