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  1. 1

    Causes of mortality change: observations based on the experience of selected countries in the ESCAP Region.

    Ruzicka LT

    In: Mortality and health issues: review of current situation and study guidelines. Bangkok, Thailand, U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, 1985. 93-97. (Asian Population Studies Series No. 63.)

    In the past 30 years or so, mortality has declined in all countries, and the member countries of Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) are no exception to this general trend. Standardization is most often used in a limited fashion to account for the effect on demographic indices of a changing age and sex structure of the population; this chapter uses it to examine the fast decline in mortality. A decline in mortality may be due to any of the following processes: 1) reduction of exposure to risk, or an increased proportion of the population protected from the risk by immunization or other preventive measures; 2) introduction of effective treatment may result in the considerable reduction of case fatality, and hence of mortality from a given disease; and 3) intervention along both lines. Foremost among the studies of variation of mortality levels among the countries at various stages of socioeconomic development are those associating measures of national income and life expectancy at birth. Economic advance appears not to be a major factor in more recent mortality reductions; a large part of the decline has resulted from the application of broad-based public health programs of insect control, environmental sanitation, and immunization. Mother's educational level, family income, family size, and pattern of child spacing have demonstrable effects on the probability of child survival. Further advancement to understand the complex fabric of social and bioligical processes involved in health protection and health impairments that often lead to death requires joint formulation at the planning stage of methodologies and concepts combining suitable factors from different disciplines. The multidisciplinary approach to research in mortality would lend assurance to the results of studies and would provide a firmer basis for the development of relevant policies to reduce morbidity and mortality.
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  2. 2

    China: long-term development issues and options. The report of a mission sent to China by the World Bank.

    Lim E; Wood A; Porter I; Taylor RP; Byrd W; Tidrick G; King T; Tims W; Pohl G

    Baltimore, Maryland, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985. xiii, 183 p. (World Bank Country Economic Report)

    This report summarizes the conclusions of a World Bank study undertaken in 1984 to identify the key development issues China is expected to face in the next 20 years. Among the areas addressed by chapters in this monograph are agricultural prospects, energy development, spatial issues, international economic strategy, managing industrial technology, human development, mobilizing financial resources, and development management. China's economic prospects are viewed as dependinding upon success in mobilizing and effectively using all available resources, especially people. This in turn will depend on sucess in reforming the system of economic management, including progress in 3 areas: 1) greater use of market regulation to stimulate innovation and efficiency; 2) stronger planning, combining indirect with direct economic control; and 3) modification and extension of social institutions and policies to maintain the fairness in distribution that is basic to socialism in the face of the greater inequality and instability that may result from market regulation and indirect controls. Over the next 2 decades, China can be expected to become a middle-income country. The government has set the goal of quadrupling the gross value of industrial and agricultural output between 1980 and 2000 and increasing per capita income from US$300 to $800. China's size and past emphasis on local self-sufficiency offer opportunities for enormous economic gains through increased specialization and trade among localities. Increased rural-urban migration seems probable and desirable, although an increase in urban services and infrastructure will be required. The expected slow rate of population increase is an important foundation for China's favorable economic growth prospects. On the other hand, it may not be desirable to hold fertility below the replacement level for very long, given the effects this would have on the population's age structure. The increase in the proportion of elderly people will be a serious social issue in the next century, and reforms of the social security system need to be considered.
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  3. 3

    Prospects of population growth and changes in sex-age structures in Asian countries.

    Otomo A; Obayashi S

    In: Population prospects in developing countries: structure and dynamics, edited by Atsushi Otomo, Haruo Sagaza, and Yasuko Hayase. Tokyo, Japan, Institute of Developing Economies, 1985. 1-15, 325. (I.D.E. Statistical Data Series No. 46)

    This discussion covers the prospects of population growth in Asian countries, prospects of changes in sex-age structures in Asian countries, and the effect of urbanization on national population growth in developing countries. According to the UN estimates assessed in 1980, size of total population of Asian countries recorded 2580 million in 1980, which accounted for 58.2% of total population of the world. As it had shown 1390 million, accounting for 55.1% of the world population in 1950, it grew at a higher annual increase rate of 2.08% than that of 1.90% for the world average during the 30 years. On the basis of the UN population projections assessed in 1980 (medium variant), the world population attains 6121 million by 2000, and Asian population records 3555 million, which is 58.0% of the total population of the world and which is a slightly smaller share than in 1980. The population of East Asia shows 1475 million and that of South Asia 2077 million. During 20 years after 1980, the population growth becomes much faster in South Asia than in East Asia. After 1980 the population growth rate in Asia as well as on the world average shows a declining trend. In Asia it indicates 1.72% for 1980-90 and 1.50% for 1990-2000, whereas on the world average it shows 1.76% and 1.49%, respectively. The population density for Asia showing 94 persons per square kilometer, slightly lower than that of Europe (99 persons) as of 1980, records 129 persons per square kilometer and exceeds that of Europe (105 persons) in 2000. According to the UN estimates assessed in 1980, the sex ratio for the world average indicates 100.7 males/100 females as of 1980, and it shows 104.1 for Asia. This is higher than that for the average of developing countries (103.2). In the year 2000 it is observed generally in the UN projections that the countries with a sex ratio of 100 and over as of 1980 show a decrease but those with the ratio smaller than 100 record an increase. Almost all Asian countries are projected to indicate a decrease in the proportion of population aged 0-14 against the increases in that aged 15-64 and in that aged 65 and older between 1980-2000. In 1980 the proportion of population aged 0-14 showed more than 40.0% in most of the Asian countries. In the year 2000 almost all the countries in East Asia and Eastern South Asia indicate larger than 60.0% in the proportion of adult population. Urbanization brings about the effects of reducing the speed of increase in a national population and of causing significant changes in sex and age structures of the national population. Considering the future acceleration of urbanization in Asian countries, the prospects of growth and changes in sex and age structures of populations in Asian countries may need to be revised from the standpoint of subnational population changes.
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  4. 4

    A survey of population in the ESCAP region.

    Asian and Pacific Population Programme News. 1985 Mar; 14(1):2-5.

    In 1983, the ESCAP region added 44 million people, bringing its total population to 2600 million, which is 56% of the world population. The annual rate of population growth was 1.7% in 1983 compared to 2.4% in 1970-75. The urban population rose from 23.4% in 1970 to 26.4% in 1983, indicative of the drift from rural areas to large cities. In 1980, 12 of the world's 25 largest cities were in the ESCAP region, and there is concern about the deterioration of living conditions in these metropoles. In general, however, increasing urbanization in the developing countries of the ESCAP region has not been directly linked to increasing industrialization, possibly because of the success of rural development programs. With the exception of a few low fertility countries, a large proportion of the region's population is concentrated in the younger age groups; 50% of the population was under 22 years of age in 1983 and over 1/3 was under 15 years. In 1983, there were 69 dependents for every 100 persons of working age, although declines in the dependency ratio are projected. The region's labor force grew from 1100 million in 1970 to 1600 million in 1983; this growth has exceeded the capacity of country economies to generate adequate employment. The region is characterized by large variations in life expectancy at birth, largely reflecting differences in infant mortality rates. Whereas there are less than 10 infant deaths/1000 live births in Japan, the corresponding rates in Afghanistan and India are 203 and 121, respectively. Maternal-child health care programs are expected to reduce infant mortality in the years ahead. Finally, fertility declines have been noted in almost every country in the ESCAP region and have been most dramatic in East Asia, where 1983's total fertility rate was 40% lower than that in 1970-75. Key factors behind this decline include more aggressive government policies aimed at limiting population growth, developments in the fields of education and primary health care, and greater availability of contraception through family planning programs.
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  5. 5

    Socio-economic development and fertility decline in Costa Rica. Background paper prepared for the project on socio-economic development and fertility decline.

    Denton C; Acuna O; Gomez M; Fernandez M; Raabe C; Bogan M

    New York, New York, United Nations, 1985. 118 p. (ST/ESA/SER.R/55)

    This summary of information on the development process in Costa Rica and its relation to fertility from 1950-70 is a revision of a study prepared for the Workshop on Socioeconomic Development and Fertility Decline held in Costa Rica in April 1982 as part of a UN comparative study of 5 developing countries. The report contains chapters on background information on fertility and the family, historical facts, and political organization of Costa Rica; the development strategy and its consequences vis a vis the composition of the gross domestic product, balance of trade, investment trends, the structure of the labor force, educational levels, and income; the allocation of public resources in public employment, public investment, credit, public expenditures, and the impact of resource allocation policies; changes in land tenure patterns; cultural factors affecting fertility, including education, women and their family roles, behavior in the home, women and politics, work and social security, and race and religion; changes in demographic variables, including nuptiality patterns, marital fertility, and natural fertility and birth control; characteristics and determining factors of the decline in fertility, including levels and trends, decline by age group, decline in terms of birth order, differences among population groups, how fertility declined, and history and role of family planning programs; and a discussion of the modernization process in Costa Rica and the relationship between demographic and socioeconomic variables. Beginning with the 1948 civil war, Costa Rica underwent drastic changes which were still reflected in national life as late as 1970. The industrial sector and the government bureaucracy have become decisive forces in development and the government has become the major employer. The state plays a key role in economic life, and state participation is a determining factor in extending medical and educational resources in the social field. The economically active population declined from 64% in 1960 to 55% in 1975 due to urbanization and migration from rural to urban areas, but there was an increase in economic participation of women, especially in urban areas. Increased educational level of the population in general and women in particular created changes in traditional attitudes and behavior. Although there is no specific explanation of why Costa Rica's fertility decline occurred, some observations about its determining factors and mechanisms can be made: the considerable economic development of the 1950s and 1960s brought about a rapid rise in per capita income and changes in the structure of production as well as substantial social development, increased opportunities for self-improvement for some social groups, and a rise in expectations. The size of the family became an aspect of conflict between rising expectations and increasing expenses. The National Family Planning Program helped accelerate the fertility decline.
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  6. 6

    The changing roles of women and men in the family and fertility regulation: some labour policy aspects

    Oppong C

    In: Family and population. Proceedings of the "Scientific Conference on Family and Population," Espoo, Finland, May 25-27, 1984, edited by Hellevi Hatunen. Helsinki, Finland, Vaestoliitto, 1984. 62-83.

    There is growing evidence that labor policies, such as those advocated by the International Labor Organization (ILO), promote changes in familial roles and that these changes in turn have an impact on fertility. A conceptual model describing these linkages is offered and the degree to which the linkages hypothesized in the model are supported by research findings is indicated. The conceptual model specifies that: 1) as reliance on child labor declines, through the enactment of minimum age labor laws, the economic value of children declines, and parents adopt smaller family size ideals; 2) as security increases for the elderly, through the provision of social security and pension plans, the elderly become less dependent on their children, and the perceived need to produce enough children to ensure security in old age is diminished; and 3) as sexual equality in job training and employment and the availability of flexible work schedules increase, sexual equality in the domestic setting increases, and women begin to exert more control over their own fertility. ILO studies and many other studies provide considerable evidence in support of these hypothesized linkages; however, the direction or causal nature of some of the associations has not been established. Development levels, rural or urban residence, and a number of other factors also appear to influence many of these relationships. Overall, the growing body of evidence accords well with ILO programs and instruments which promote: 1) the enactment of minimum age work laws to reduce reliance on child labor, 2) the establishment of social security systems and pension plans to promote the economic independence of the elderly, 3) the promotion of sexual equality in training programs and employment; 4) the promotion of the idea of sexual equality in the domestic setting; and 5) the establishment of employment policies which do not unfairly discriminate against workers with family responsibilities.
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