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Genus. 2005 Jul-Dec; 61(3-4):111-140.At the end of 1951, in the first issue of the Population Bulletin, the United Nations published an article on the past and future growth of world population (United Nations, 1951). The article provided a "long-term view" of future population growth by projecting the population by groups of countries from 1950 to 1980. According to this first set of estimates and projections issued by the United Nations, the world population, which was estimated to be 2.4 billion in mid-1950, would increase by at least half a billion and at most 1.2 billion over the next 30 years, producing for 1980 a range of 3 billion to 3.6 billion people, with a "medium" value of 3.3 billion. A further scenario obtained by maintaining constant the vital rates estimated for the late 1940s produced a world population of 3.5 billion (table 1), The proceedings of the 1954 World Population Conference held in Rome included another set of population projections, updating the work published in 1951. The major difference between the two sets lies on an upward adjustment of the 1950 population of Asia that resulted in a world total closer to 2.5 billion and led to a larger population in 1980 (3.6 billion in the medium variant). Today, with the benefit of hindsight, we estimate that the world's population in 1950 was slightly over 2.5 billion and that it increased by 1.9 billion over the next 30 years, to reach 4.4 billion by 1980, a value higher than the highest projected at the time of the 1954 Conference. In reviewing past demographic trends, this paper will compare them with those expected by United Nations demographers in the 1950s and 1960s in order to understand better their assessment of how the demographic transition would proceed. (excerpt)
Cabanatuan City, Philippines, Philippine Wesleyan College, Wesleyan Population Center, 1975. 39 p.These revised curriculum materials integrating population education with high school world history have as general objectives to chart the population growth of the world from 600,000 B.C. to 1970, to project future growth through 2000, to outline the causes of population growth and zero growth in the various stages of world history, to distinguish between the degree of environmental and population control attainable by ancient and modern man, and to describe national and international organizations and activities which may help reduce world population growth. The early lessons present the concepts that population growth has been slow in most of human history, with high death rates balancing high birthrates, and that the life of prehistoric man was uncomfortable and short, with his numbers kept in check by natural events; that the development of man's 1st major achievement in environmental control, agriculture, allowed greater population growth and density than hunting and gathering; and that despite increased food production, life was still uncomfortable and short, with famine and disease continuing to exert high tolls and food production continuing to be threatened by consumption due to increasing numbers. The 4th lesson, covering the effects of industrialization from 1650-1900 on world population, presents the concepts that industrial inventions permit greater food production and further population increases, and that population growth during these years was greatly speeded. The next lesson concerns the effects of medicine on world population between 1900-70, emphasizing that improved mortality control made possible by medical discoveries greatly decreased the death rate from disease, and that disease control operates independently of food supply. The 6th lesson, on population projection to 2000, teaches that population growth has accelerated in recent years in the developing countries while slowing voluntarily in developed areas, and that the developing world may pursue population control or growth may again be controlled by famine, disease, and war. The 7th lesson suggests that man can control his population, that overpopulation is a worldwide threat, and that international agencies exist to help slow growth. Each lesson contains a description of the subject matter, a list of teaching aids and references, lists of concepts and specific objectives to be covered, and outlines of procedures regarding perceptions and development of the lesson.
[The future of world population. When the official projections are seriously wrong] L'avenir de la population mondiale. Quand les perspectives officielles se trompent lourdement.
FUTURIBLES. 1994 Sep; (190):45-65.This work argues that the hypotheses underlying U.N. population projections are unrealistic and fail to anticipate major trends, so that projections beyond a relatively short span of time are likely to be inflated. Projections are dependent on their basic hypotheses and are of value to the extent that the hypotheses are well chosen. The U.N. medium projection, generally regarded as the most probable, assumes that fertility throughout the world will progressively converge at a level of 2.1 children per woman. This hypothesis is doubtful insofar as fertility in many industrialized countries is already well below this level, and because the demographic transition in many developing countries is occurring with greater speed and intensity than anticipated. Little theoretical or empirical evidence is advanced to support the U.N. assumptions about future fertility trends in the U.N. projections. Demographers largely failed to anticipate three great demographic changes of this century: the Western postwar baby boom, the demographic explosion of the Third World, and the profound and enduring European fertility decline that began in the late 1960s. At present, many developing countries are engaged in a new change, the importance of which has not yet been truly appreciated in the West. Areas not moderating their fertility, such as large parts of Africa, will more likely see sharp rises in mortality than the increases projected by the U.N. Africa, whose population increase of 190 million between 1955 and 1990 has caused immense pressure in this impoverished and ill prepared continent, is not likely to add another 800 million persons by the year 2025, as the U.N. projects. Neither is total world population likely to reach 8.5 billion in 2025.
Population and development. Background paper for the International Conference on Population and Development, Cairo 5-13 September 1994.
Copenhagen, Denmark, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Danida, 1994. , 63 p.This report identifies and discusses the central issues, problems, and contradictions in the population debate in order to provide background information for the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development and a basis for the development of Denmark's population policy. The introduction describes the 2 basic contradicting indicators of the unprecedented global annual growth rate of 93 million people and the equally unprecedented rapid decline in the total fertility rate in developing countries (from 6 in 1950 to 3.6 today). The next section deals with the links between population and development, including the risk of demographic traps and production and consumption traps. 6 major trends in population and sustainability are explored in terms of regional and national differences. Contradictions and myths in the population/development debate are then discussed. The third section of the report presents the demographic context including a short overview of population theories, the most recent global demographic projections, and the most important fertility determinants (infant and child mortality, the status of women, and the quality of services). Section 4 provides a discussion of the different approaches and rationales for the establishment of global and various national population policies and family planning (FP) programs. The final section is concerned with the transition from FP to sexual and reproductive health and rights. This discussion covers the role of vertical FP programs, integrated maternal-child health and FP services, and the transition to more comprehensive reproductive health services. Sexual and reproductive health is then considered within the gender framework and from a human rights perspective. Charts with data on population projections, the prevalence of contraceptive use in developing countries, and the total fertility rate since 1960 are appended.
POPULATION BULLETIN OF THE UNITED NATIONS. 1993; (34-35):102-19.As part of the preparation for the forth-coming UN International Conference on Population and Development, an expert group met in Paris, France, in November 1992 to discuss population growth and demographic structure. As part of the demographic background for the meeting provided by the UN Population Division, participants were informed that although the world population growth rate began to decline in the late 1970s, this decline has not yet resulted in declining absolute numbers, and the annual increment to the world population was not expected to decline to the level that existed in 1985 until the period 2020-25. World population increased from 2.5 billion in 1950 to 5.3 billion in 1990. The medium variant population projection of the UN shows world population at 6.3 billion in 2000 and 8.5 billion in 2025 (the high variant shows 9.4 billion in 2025 and the low variant shows 7.6 billion). Population aging is expected to reach unparalleled levels in 2010-20. The meeting then considered the topics of population growth and socioeconomic development, confronting poverty in developing countries, demographic impacts of development patterns, demographic and health transitions, population growth and employment, social change and the elderly in developing countries, and social development and ageing in developed countries, The expert group meeting then prepared 19 recommendations aimed at governments, social institutions, and the international community. The recommendations call for political commitment to human resources development and population and development programs, especially in least developed countries, alleviation of poverty and social inequality, and equality of access to social and health resources that will lead to reduced mortality and fertility. Governments are urged to place a high priority on education and on increasing women's access to education and to remove barriers to economic independence for women. Health-sector priorities should be reassessed to provide the most cost-effective and efficient means of providing health care, reproductive health-care programs should receive high priority, and efforts should be made to minimize the effects of HIV infection and reduce the spread of AIDS. The needs of the elderly should be met with a "safety net," which should be developed in countries with no social security programs. The elderly should be recognized as an important human resource for development, and intergenerational equity should exist to accommodate their needs, with special efforts made to help them remain in their own homes and communities. Governments should collect accurate, comprehensive, and regular data on population characteristics and trends, and the international community should facilitate the comparative analysis of such data. Training should be provided to professionals in demography and related fields in developing countries.
Revue Tiers Monde. 1983 Apr-Jun; 24(94):305-24.This article discusses methodologies for arriving at population projections and predictions and their limitations, and presents short-term predictions for 1980-2000, longterm projections for 2000-2025, and very longterm projections for 2025-2100, which are highly speculative. The UN population projections for 210 countries and territories are provided by age and sex and by rural or urban status. The UN projections are prepared in 3 phases: 1) analysis of the quality of the basic data in different regions; 2) development of hypotheses concerning the evolution of fertility, mortality, and migration; and 3) separate projection of each component of growth. 4 variants, the medium, high, low, and constant fertility versions are usually prepared, of which the medium projection is considered most likely and that of constant fertility is included only for comparisons. The world crude reproduction rate fell from 2.41 in 1950 to 1.96 in 1975-80, and is expected to fall to 1.34 during 2000-2010 and to almost unity in the mid 21st century. Only Africa and Latin America are expected to have crude reproduction rates above replacement level in 2025. According to the medium projection, the world population will each 6.2 billion in 2000 and 10.4 billion in 2075, when it will be nearly stationary. Future growth in already developed countries will be minimal, but Third World countries, which had a population of 1.7 billion in 1950 and 3.3 billion in 1980, will have nearly 5 billion by 2000 and will stabilize at about 9.1 billion, representing 87% of total world population. About 40% will live in South Asia. The population in 2075 will be 1.2 billion in Latin America, 2.2 billion in Africa, and 1.7 billion in East Asia. The age structure of the future population will undergo considerable aging and the trend toward urbanization will accelerate.