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    Population change and development in the ECWA region

    Caldwell P; Caldwell JC

    In: Aspects of population change and development in some African and Asian countries. Cairo, Egypt, Cairo Demographic Centre, 1984. 43-56. (CDC Research Monograph Series no. 9)

    This paper examines the relationship between economic development and demographic change in the 13 states of the Economic Commission for West Asia (ECWA) region. Demographic variables considered include per capita income, proportion urban, proportion in urban areas with over 100,000 inhabitants, literacy among those over 15 years, and literacy among women. Unweighted rankings on these variables were added to produce a development ranking or general development index. Then this index was used to investigate the relationship between development and individual scores and rankings for various demographic indices. The development index exhibited a rough fit with the mortality indices, especially life expectancy at birth. Mortality decline appears to be most closely related to rise in income. At the same income level, countries that have experienced substantial social change tend to exhibit the lowest mortality, presumably because of a loosening in family role patterns. In contrast, the relationship between development and fertility measures seemed to be almost random. A far closer correlation was noted between the former and the general development index. It is concluded that economic development alone will not reduce fertility. Needed are 2 changes: 1) profound social change in the family and in women's status, achievable through increases in female education, and 2) government family planning programs to ensure access to contraception.
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