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    023757

    Levels, trends and prospects of fertility in developing countries.

    Mauldin WP

    [Unpublished] 1983. Presented at the 1983 Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America, Pittsburgh, April 14-16. 35 p.

    In 1950 fertility levels in the developing countries were high. The crude birthrates (CBRs) were about 47 in Africa, 42 in the Americas, and 41 in Asia and the Pacific. In Asia and the Pacific, several countries are thought to have had fertility rates between 35-40/1000. In Latin America, Argentina, Cuba, and Uruguay the birthrates were less than 30/1000 and between 30-35/1000 in Chile and Jamaica. No country in Africa was reported to have had a rate below 40 with the sole exception of Gabon which is reported to have had a crude birthrate between 30-35/1000, not only in 1950 but this remained unchanged up to 1980. By 1965 there had been a little change in several countries but virtually no change at all in Africa. During the next 15 years the situation changed markedly in Asia and the Pacific with the crude birthrate decreasing by almost 1/4, from a little more than 39 to 30. There was a similar but slightly smaller decrease in Latin America, a decrease from 40-32, or about 20%. In Africa there was virtually no change. Many scholars and laypersons concerned about the rapid rate of population growth have expressed the view that population policies have been slow to develop. By 1980, 39 countries with a population of 2.6 billion or 78% of the population of all developing countries had adopted official policies to reduce the population growth rate. Many of these policies are without substance but a fairly large number of the countries have developed substantial population programs, as well as policies to reduce rates of population growth. There were an additional 33 countries with a total population of 554 million that had no demographic policy to reduce rates of population growth but nonetheless gave officcial support to family planning activities. Prior to 1960 only India had a population policy to reduce rates of population growth but during the 1960-64 period 4 additional countries in Asia and the Pacific adopted such policies, namely China, Korea, Pakistan, and Fiji. It was not until 1965 and after that African and Latin American countries adopted such policies. The annual number of family planning acceptors in large scale programs increased from a few tens of thousands around 1960 to about 2 1/2 million in 1965 and to approximately 25 million in 1980, excluding China, for which quantitative data are less readily available. In some countries contraceptive prevalence rates remain low after many years of a national family planning program, e.g., Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, and Bangladesh. Various macroeconomic studies, using countries as units, have found that both socioeconomic and population programs have important effects on fertility decline. UN projections (medium variant) to 2000-2005 assume a continuation of fertility decline in less developed countries (LDCs), including the start of decline in black Africa and Arab countries. Even if the UN projections are consistent with the realities of the years ahead, there is enormous population growth ahead.
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