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POPULI. 1986; 13(1):5-14.Within the next 50 years, the predominantly rural character of developing countries will shift as a result of rapid world urbanization. In 1970 the total urban population of the more developed world regions was almost 30 million more than in the less developed regions; however, by the year 2000 the urban population of developing countries will be close to double that in developed countries. A growing proportion of the urban population will be concentrated in the biggest cities. At the same time, the rural population in developing countries is expected to increase as well, making it difficult to reduce the flow of migrants to urban centers. Although urban fertility in developing countries tends to be lower than rural fertility, it is still at least twice as high as in developed countries. The benefits of urbanization tend to be distributed unevenly on the basis of social class, resulting in a pattern of skewed income and standard of living. Social conditions in squatter settlments and urban slums are a threat to physical and mental health, and the educational system has not been able to keep up with the growth of the school-aged population in urban areas. The problems posed by urbanization should be viewed as challenges to social structures and scientific technologies to adapt with concern for human values. It is suggested than 4 premises about the urbanization process should guide urban planners: 1) urban life is essential to the social nature of the modern world; 2) urban and rural populations should not be conceptualized in terms of diametrically opposed interest groups; 3) national policies will have an impact on urban areas, just as developments in the cities will impact on national development; and 4) the great cities of the world interact with each other, exchanging both trade and populations. The United Nations Family Planning Association stresses the need for 3 fundamental objectives: economic efficiency, social equity, and population balance.
In: Population, resources, environment and development. Proceedings of the Expert Group on Population, Resources, Environment and Development, Geneva, 25-29 April 1983, [compiled by] United Nations. Department of International Economic and Social Affairs. New York, New York, United Nations, 1984. 359-81. (Population Studies No. 90; ST/ESA/SER.A/90; International Conference on Population, 1984)This discussion focuses on the prospective impact of population growth, within the context of global constraints on resources and the environment, on certain basic conditions of socioeconomic development, i.e., food, education, health, housing, and income distribution. A table presents a basic summary of world demographic conditions as of 1980. About 3/4 of the world population of 4.4 billion is in the less developed countries. The population of these countries grows at an annual rate of about 3 1/2 times that of the more developed countries. Compared to the latter, the LDCs' birthrate is more than double, and its total fertility rate is nearly 2 1/2 times as large. The problem of hunger and undernutrition is serious, and continued population growth only makes the task of dealing with it more difficult over time. According to the US Presidential Commission on World Hunger (1980), 1 out of every 8 persons in the world is malnourished, and the number is rising. Poverty is the root cause of undernutrition. The rate of growth of food production has been slightly above that of population. The influence of population growth on food demand has been far greater than that of income growth. New sources of growth in food supply do not portend to be as readily available as before. In some ways current demographic trends will tend to improve the education, health, and housing (EHH) capital. Parents will be able to afford schooling for their children more easily because of later marriages, wider spacing of children, and fewer children. Lower fertility will make for fewer health risks particularly to mothers and infants. The problem of providing basic services for a rapidly growing population could be made more manageable by concentrating more on the human than on the material linkages between inputs and outputs, between the capital formers and the formed home capital. Population growth helps to perpetuate poverty by restraining the growth of wages. There has been a widening gap in per capita income between the richest and the poorest countries and between the middle income and the poorest. The burden of population growth is lessened through any means that raises factor productivity. 1 means would be the removal of conventions restricting the use of any factor below full capacity.