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Will the circle be unbroken? - includes related article on population assistance to developing countries - child survival programs and fertility decline.
UN Chronicle. 1998 Winter; 35(4): p..The demographic transition which has been under way in the developing countries since the middle of the twentieth century has shown much difference, both in its course and in the factors behind it, from the transition which started two centuries ago in countries that are now developed. In the developed countries, the gradual improvement in living conditions accompanying industrialization and urbanization, coupled with broadening education and sanitation and a growing understanding of the principle of hygiene and nutrition, resulted in progressive gains in child survival and declines in mortality at all ages. These same forces of development were progressively changing attitudes towards reproduction, reducing the demand for children and lowering marital fertility. In the developing countries, there have been unprecedented declines in mortality over a few decades since midcentury. Only sub-Saharan Africa as a whole Ires not yet entered into this phase of demographic transition to a significant extent. A distinguishing feature of this transition has been that declines in mortality and fertility were not accompanying major gains in economic development. (excerpt)