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International Family Planning Perspectives. 1991 Sep; 17(3):108-13.South Asia consisting of Bangladesh, India, Nepal Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, claims 1/5 to total world population with expected population growth of at least 200 million by the year 2000. Taking issue with assumptions behind World Bank (WB) and United Nations (UN) population projections for the region, the authors make less optimistic assumptions of country fertility and mortality trends when running population projections for the region. Following discussion of methodological issues for and analysis of population projections, the paper's alternate assumptions and projection results are presented and discussed. Projections were made for each country of the region over the period 1985-2010, based on assumptions that only very modest fertility declines and improvements in life expectancy would develop over most of the 1990s. South Asian population would therefore grow from over 1 billion in 1985, to 1.4 billion by 2000, and almost 1.8 billion by 2010. Overall slower fertility decline than assumed for the UN and WB projections point to larger population growth with momentum for continued, larger growth through the 21st century. Rapid, substantial population growth as envisioned by these projections will impede movement toward an urban-industrial economy, with a burgeoning labor force exceeding the absorptive capacity of the modern sector. Job seekers will pile up in agriculture and the informal sector. Demands upon the government to deliver education and health services will also be extraordinarily high. High-tech niches will, however, continue expanding in India and Pakistan with overall negative social effects. Their low demand for labor will exacerbate income disparities, fuel interpersonal, interclass, and interregional tensions, and only contribute to eventual ethnic, communal, and political conflict. Immediate, coordinated policy is urged to achieve balanced low mortality and low fertility over the next few decades.
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.
Community Development Journal. 1983; 18(2):104-19.A review of demographic trends and health and social problems in the fast growing urban areas of the world indicates that, in the future, increasing numbers of people will be living in precarious socioeconomic conditions which impede the achievement of health. It is estimated that from 4.4 billion in 1980 the world's population will increase to 6.2 billion by the year 2000. The urban population will increase from 1.8 to 3.2 billion during the same period, over 2 billion of which will be in developing countries. The rapid and often uncontrollable demographic growth of cities, especially in the developing world, stimulates the demand for resources, intensifies their utilization and creates an intolerable pressure on the urban infrastructure and physical environment. A number of action oriented projects to combat disease and contamination have been successful. Projects in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Colombo, Sri Lanka, Hyderabad, India, Guayaquil, Ecuador, Lima, Peru, and Rio de Janeiro have been implemented under a partnership among WHO, UNICEF, the Netherlands Aid Agency, the World Bank, and other international organizationals and governments. These projects all emphasize the fundamental role of community organizations, especially that of women; low-cost technology and the need to mobilize and efficiently use locally available resources; an ecological multisectoral concept of health whereby action concerning the environment, education, income generation and the availability of food, all with a powerful disease preventive potential, carry equal if not greater weight than the efforts to provide the population with health centers or implement curative practices. All these projects are focused on marginal groups; many were initiated by imaginative individuals or groups with a considerable amount of social orientation and motivation, and often, at least in the beginning, without the support of governments, nongovernmental or international organizations. It is important to study these projects in their accomplishments and failures; to help describe them and disseminate related information when appropriate; and to promote political and technical support for those which are successful so that they can rapidly come out of the experimental/demonstration phase and be expanded to become part of routine programs.