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Population Index. 1948 Apr; 14(2):97-104.Research in migration has been peculiarly susceptible to the changing problems of the areas and the periods in which demographers work. American studies of international movements diminished after the passage of Exclusion Acts, and virtually ceased as immigration dwindled during the depression years. On the other hand, surveys of internal migration proliferated as the facts of mass unemployment and the social approaches of the New Deal focused governmental attention on the relation of people to resources and to economic opportunity. Geographers and historians took over the field the demographers had vacated. The studies of pioneer settlement directed by Isaiah Bowman and those of Marcus Hansen dealing with the Atlantic crossing are outstanding illustrations of this non-demographic research on essentially demographic problems. Even when demographers investigated international movements they served principally as quantitative analysts of historical exchanges. This is not to disparage such studies as that of Truesdell on the Canadian in the United States, or of Coates on the United States immigrant in Canada, but merely to emphasize the point that Americans regarded international migration as an issue of the past. (excerpt)
In: An agenda for people: the UNFPA through three decades, edited by Nafis Sadik. New York, New York, New York University Press, 2002. 137-150.This volume chronicles the remarkable success -- indeed, the reproductive revolution -- that has taken place over the last thirty years, in which the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has played such a major role. Our purpose in this chapter is to contrast the situation at the century's end with the one that existed at the time of UNFPA's creation thirty years ago, and to project from the current situation to the new challenges that lie ahead. In many respects, the successful completion of the fertility transition that is now so far advanced will bring an entirely new set of challenges, and these will require a fundamental rethinking about the future mandate, structure, staffing and programme of UNFPA in the twenty-first century. Our purpose here is to identify those challenges and speculate about their implications. (author's)
In: An agenda for people: the UNFPA through three decades, edited by Nafis Sadik. New York, New York, New York University Press, 2002. 2-23.In demographic terms, the last thirty years have been quite distinct from the period that preceded it, or, indeed, from any other period in history. The global fertility level had been almost stable for at least twenty years prior to 1965-1969, with a total fertility rate just under 5 children per woman, and this stability did not hide countervailing forces in different parts of the world. The developed countries, whether they had participated or not in the post-World War II “baby boom,” showed no strong trends in fertility, with a total fertility rate remaining around 2.7. The same lack of change characterized the developing countries, but there the total fertility rate was well over 6, as it may well have been for millennia. (excerpt)
POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT REVIEW. 1990 Jun; 16(2):355-62.The United Nations, foremost among international organizations concerned with demographic issues, has undergone a subtle shift in function since its inception. The organization's initial focus was on the collection and analysis of demographic data. Activities in this area have included periodic meetings of statisticians at the regional level, seminars and training courses for officials, publication of handbooks on census procedures and vital statistics methods, technical assistance during census taking, and studies on methods to enhance data reliability and validity. In 1962, a debate emerged about whether the organization should respond to requests from Member States for technical assistance in establishing population control programs. Given limited resources, the general consensus was to prioritize campaigns that promoted economic development. However, a shift in emphasis occurred in the late-1960s when evidence accumulated that investments in family planning programs were more cost-effective than investments in economic growth. The establishment in 1969 of the United Nations Fund for Population Activities reflected this new approach. Then and now, however, funds allotted to population activities within the United Nations network comprise a minuscule fraction of total resources allocated to development.
POPULATION BULLETIN OF THE UNITED NATIONS. 1986; (19-20):44-62.40 years ago, one of the 1st tasks of the United Nations (UN) Population Division was a series of pilot studies demonstrating how governments could improve knowledge of demographic levels and trends using inadequate statistics: India, the Sudan, the Philippines, and Brazil demonstrated the application of survey research to fertility analysis. Similar studies illustrated the policy-making value of census data. William Brass suggested that maternity histories be used to assess fertility change. The Division participated in the 1st national family planning (FP) programs in India, and then helped develop a standard questionnaire to serve as the basis for internationally comparable knowledge, attitude, and practice surveys and sought to promote cross-national comparative research on fertility and FP. It also developed technics for estimating fertility in the absence of adequate birth statistics, including the reverse-survival method and ways of using stable population models. Model-based estimates of fertility have been made from World Fertility Survey data. The Division has provided data and studies to measure FP program success and to serve in improving service and acceptance rates, participating in evaluations of the administration of its national FP programs in India and Pakistan, and in research on cost/benefit and cost-effectiveness calculations for fertility reduction programs. A basic component was the measurement of the impact of FP programs on fertility: the Division carried out studies to evaluate alternative measurement methods, and prepared a manual. As fertility data quality improved, the Division prepared a review of knowledge on determinants of fertility, and hypothesized that a threshold must be crossed before development leads to fertility decline. The Division now produces periodic overviews of fertility conditions and trends, and studies on world levels and condtions of fertility, and has made findings on breast feeding effects, "unmet" FP needs, and the role of type of parental union, marital disruption, and education and occupation.
POPULATION BULLETIN OF THE UNITED NATIONS. 1986; (19-20):35-43.The periodic assessment of global population growth from the past to the future has been one of the UN's most important contributions to member states and many other users. Available data and applicable analysis and projection methods were very limited in 1947, when the 1st global population estimates and projections were attempted. The 1st contributions of the Commission were manuals for these functions. Throughout the 1950s, 4 regional reports on Central and South America; Southeast Asia; and Asia and the far East were published. UN studies during this period tended to group regions by their position on a continuum of the demographic transition. Rough but alarming projections of population growth appeared. Projection technics were refined and standardized in the 1960s, and the demand grew for more specialized technics, e.g. dealing with urban/rural populations; the labor force; and other elements. The availability of computer technology at the end of the decade multiplied the projection capabilities, and the total population projections for the future were larger than ever. The 1970s projections, based on the more accurate and widely covered baseline data which had become available in developing countries, were also aided by more powerful and innovative indirect estimation technics; better software, and computers with larger capacities. By 1982, only a few countries were left with a total lack of data. A revision of estimates and projections is now undertaken biennially, incorporating the latest available data, utilizing advanced analytical methods and computer technology. Methodological manuals have been produced as the by-product of the revisions. UN demographic estimates and projections could be further improved by injection of a probabilistic element and the inclusion of economic factors. Roles for the future include maintenance of regional and interregional comparability of assumptions.
POPULATION BULLETIN OF THE UNITED NATIONS. 1986; (19-20):2-5.Attention is focused on the work of the Population Commisision in the 1st decade after its establishment, in 1946. The 1st Commission, composed of 12 respected professionals in demography and related fields, drew up a set of recommendations which largely formed the agenda of the Commission at its next 5 sessions. In the 1st decade of the Commission a significant number of countries had not taken a census and lacked accurate vital statistics. Nevertheless, the Commission members were well aware of demographic levels and trends in both the developed and the developing countries. Therefore, the Commission emphasized assistance to governments in developing their own demographic data. But it was also concerned with exploring interrelationships between population and various aspects of economic and social development. Despite basic differences among the delegates, relating to both population theory and policy, a concensus was achieved on many important matters, especially those relating to the improvement of demographic data, technical assistance, and the training of demographers. The legacy of publications from the 1st decade, such as "The Determinants and Consequences of Population Trends" (1953), attests to the productivity of the population division and the quality of the direction provided by the Population Commission. However, the Secretariat also responded to requests from other bodies and exercised its own initiative in addressing problems deemed of general interest. (author's modified)