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Washington, D.C., World Bank, 2011.  p. (Directions in Development)The past half-century has seen enormous changes in the demographic makeup of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). In the 1950s, LAC had a small population of about 160 million people, less than today's population of Brazil. Two-thirds of Latin Americans lived in rural areas. Families were large and women had one of the highest fertility rates in the world, low levels of education, and few opportunities for work outside the household. Investments in health and education reached only a small fraction of the children, many of whom died before reaching age five. Since then, the size of the LAC population has tripled and the mostly rural population has been transformed into a largely urban population. There have been steep reductions in child mortality, and investments in health and education have increased, today reaching a majority of children. Fertility has been more than halved and the opportunities for women in education and for work outside the household have improved significantly. Life expectancy has grown by 22 years. Less obvious to the casual observer, but of significance for policy makers, a population with a large fraction of dependent children has evolved into a population with fewer dependents and a very large proportion of working-age adults. This overview seeks to introduce the reader to three groups of issues related to population aging in LAC. First is a group of issues related to the support of the aging and poverty in the life cycle. Second is the question of the health transition. Third is an understanding of the fiscal pressures that are likely to accompany population aging and to disentangle the role of demography from the role of policy in that process.
Manila, Philippines, Asian Development Bank, Economics Office, 1987 May. 28 p. (Economics Office Report Series No. 40)Even though population growth rates continue to decline in developing member countries (DMCs) of the Asian Development Bank, they will experience absolute population increases larger than those in the past. More importantly, the labor force continues to grow and absolute increases will be greater than any other time in history. Family planning education and access to contraceptives have contributed to the decline in population growth rates, but nothing can presently be done to decrease the rates of increase of the labor force because the people have already been born. Since most of the DMSs' populations are growing at 2% or more/year, much needed economic growth is delayed. For example, for any country with a growing population to maintain the amount of capital/person, it must spread capital. Yet the faster the population grows the lesser the chances for increasing that amount. The Bank's short to medium term development policy should include loans for projects that will generate employment using capital widening and deepening and that develop rural areas, such as employment in small industries, to prevent urban migration. Other projects that engulf this policy are those concerning primary, secondary and adult education; health; food supply; and housing and infrastructure. The long term development policy must bolster population programs in DMCs so as to reduce the growth of the economically active segment of the population in the 21st century. In addition, the Bank should address fertility issues as more and more women join the work force. The Bank can play a major role in Asian development by considering the indirect demographic and human resource impacts of each project.