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Populi. 1984; 11(2):4-12.This article highlights some of the findings of the 5th Population Inquiry carried out by the UN Population Division in 1982-83. A total of 109 countries responded to questionnaires on government population perceptions, practices, and policies. Slightly over 25% of countries reported that they had established targets for population growth. Of the 81 developing countries included, 56 (69%) characterized present health and mortality conditions as unacceptable. In contrast, only 4 (14%) of the 28 developed countries did so. Infants were identified most frequently as the target of special policy concern. 40 countries, 39 of which were in the Third World, referred to the implementation of some aspect of primary health care. In terms of fertility control, 38% of governments reported that they have not expressed a formal view on the present level of fertility. Whereas 50% of developed countries viewed their fertility levels as too low and 50% considered them satisfactory, the corresponding figures among developing countries were 8% and 28%. Most governments pursue policies aimed at both influencing the fertility rate and improving maternal and child health. In developed countries, the emphasis is usually on economic measures that enhance the status of women. In developing countries, family planning was the most frequently reported measure. The government provides direct support to the provision of family planning services in about 65% of countries and indirect support in 16%. In terms of population distribution and internal migration, the major spatial concern was to alter the urban-rural distribution, generally through reducing migration to the largest metropolitan area and retaining population in rural areas. 55 governments (47 in developing and 8 in developed countries) reported the rate of growth of the largest metropolitan area to be too high. Less than 1/3 of responding governments viewed recent immigration levels as significant. 59 countries have designated a single agency to be responsible to the coordination or formulation of population policies. In general, the population issue of concern mentioned most frequently was the need for further analysis of the relationship between population and social and economic development.
The World Fertility Survey: a basis for population and development planning, statement made at the World Fertility Survey Conference, London, England, 7 July 1980.
New York, N.Y., UNFPA, . 5 p. (Speech Series No. 54)The World Fertility Survey (WFS) is the largest social science research survey undertaken to date. From its inception in 1972 the WFS has received the full support of the UN and the UNFPA. This program has not only enhanced considerably our knowledge of fertility levels and fertility regulation practices in developing as well as developed countries but has also provided the UN system with internationally comparable data on human fertility on a large scale for the 1st time. The methodology developed by the WFS has made it possible to collect data on the individual and the household as well as the community. Information has become available not only on fertility levels, trends and patterns but also on fertility preferences and nuptiality as well as knowledge and use of family planning methods. Initial findings document the rather dramatic fertility decline taking place in many developing countries under various socioeconomic and cultural conditions. They also show the magnitude of existing unmet needs for family planning in the developing world which must be continuously brought to the attention of the governments of all countries. A most encouraging effect of the program, however, has been the fact that 21 industrialized countries have carried out, entirely with their own resources, fertility surveys within the WFS framework and in accordance with its recommendations, making it truly an internationally collaborative effort.
New York, UN, 1979 Mar 16. 167 p. (E/CN.9/XX/CRP.2/Add.1)A series of descriptive tables, prepared by the United Nation's Population Commission, on the population policies of member states as of July 1978 was provided. The tables provided information on government perceptions and policies in regard to their country's population growth, average life expectancy, fertility rate, population distribution, and emigration and immigration rates. The information was collected in accordance with the recommendation of the 1974 World Population Conference that the United Nations should periodically monitor the population policies of member states. Data was provided for individual nations but the data was also aggregated by development status and by geographical regions. In regard to population growth information was provided on 1) the degree to which governments perceived their country's rate of natural increase as having a positive or negative impact on development; 2) the degree to which governments believed it was appropriate to intervene to alter the rate of natural increase; 3) specific policies selected by the governments to alter the rate of natural increase; and 4) changes in governments' perceptions of the acceptability of their rate of natural increase between 1976 and 1978. Other tables provided information on 1) governments perceptions of the acceptability of their country's current average life expectancy, fertility rate, population distribution, and immigration and emigration rates; 2) governments' policies in regard to providing effective contraception and making contraceptives available; 3) the relationship between fertility and population growth policies; and 4) government policies with respect to immigration and emigration.