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In: The population debate: dimensions and perspectives. Papers of the World Population Conference, Bucharest, 1974. Volume I. New York, New York, United Nations, 1975. 124-54. (Population Studies, No. 57; ST/ESA/SER.A/57)The UN Secretary-General's state of the population and family message is an expansive discussion of many issues. There are some historical perspectives and definitions of family type, socioeconomic change, and demographic changes affecting the family. Population trends are given for family size, more and less developed regions, the family life cycle, and family structures. Policies in industrialized countries are examined with a focus on the nuclear family, new marriage patterns and the sociological implications, and political responses to population growth. Family policy is also viewed from within transitional societies: demographic characteristics; specific populations such as those in Latin America, India and Indonesia; economic and social change; nuclear and extended families; international migration and urban-rural differences; marriage age changes; educational impacts from population growth; health programs; and family planning. Some basic principles for population policies are outlined. Parents must have the right to determine freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children. Children have a right to education, and parents to literacy. Women have an equal right to employment. Women have a right to choose their own marriage partners. Social policy in order to ensure the welfare of the family relies on social and economic services, including care for the aged. Market expansion and economic policy also impacts on the family through increasing participation of marginal workers especially women and should be sensitive to the well-being of the family. Population pressure will affect housing shortages and inefficiencies in social welfare, for example. Traditional societies are defined as those not affected yet by modernization. Regional illustrations are given for tropical Africa, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. The threshold hypothesis is advanced that even in traditional societies substantial mortality decline has occurred; the stages of demographic transition for specific countries has been shortened and inadequacy of data prevents a detailed estimation. Raising national and income/capita is seen as a goal of notional government. National governments have a responsibility to develop family and population policies. Human rights must be protected. The implications of growth patterns, the objectives of national policies, priorities, and universal criteria for a family policy are all discussed.