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[World population and development: an important change in perspective] Population mondiale et developpement: un important changement de perspective.
Problemes Economiques. 1984 Oct 24; (1895):26-32.The International Population Conference in Mexico City was much less controversial than the World Population Conference in Bucharest 10 years previously, in part because the message of Bucharest was widely accepted and in part because of changes that occurred in the demographic and economic situations in the succeeding decade. The UN medium population projection for 1985 has been proved quite accurate; it is not as alarming as the high projection but still represents a doubling of world population in less than 40 years. The control of fertility upon which the medium projection was predicated is well underway. The movement from high to low rates of fertility and mortality began in the 18th century in the industrial countries and lasted about 1 1/2 centuries during which the population surplus was dispersed throughout the world, especially in North and South America. The 2nd phase of movement from high to low rates currently underway in the developing countries has produced a far greater population increase. The proportion of the population in the developed areas of Europe, North America, the USSR, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand will decline from about 1/3 of the 2.5 billion world population of 1950 to 1/4 of the 3.7 billion of 1985, to 1/5 of the 4.8 billion of 2000, and probably 1/7 of the 10 billion when world population stabilizes at the end of the next century. The growth rates of developing countries are not homogeneous; the populations of China and India have roughly doubled in the past 35 years while that of Latin America has multiplied by 2 1/2. The population of Africa more than doubled in 35 years and will almost triple by 2025. The number of countries with over 50 million inhabitants, 9 in 1950, will increase from 19 in 1985 to 32 in 2025. The process of urbanization is almost complete in the industrialized countries, with about 75% of the population urban in 1985, but urban populations will continue to grow rapidly in the developing countries as rural migration is added to natural increase. The number of cities with 10 million inhabitants has increased from 2 to 13 between 1950 and 1985, and is expected to reach 25 by 2000, with Mexico City, Sao Paulo, and Shanghai the world's largest cities. The peak rate of world population growth was reached in the 1960s, with annual increases of 2.4%. In 1980-85 in the developed and developing worlds respectively the rates of population growth were .7% and 2.0%/year; total fertility rates were 2.05 and 4.2, and the life expectancies at birth were 72.4 and 57.0. Considerable variations occurred in individual countries. Annual rates of growth in 1980-85 were 2.4% in Latin America, 3.0% in Africa, 2.2% in South Asia and 1.2% in East Asia. Today only Iran among high fertility countries pursues a pronatalist policy. Since Bucharest, it has become evident to developing and developed countries alike that population control and economic development must go hand in hand.
Population and Development Review. 1984 Mar; 10(1):103-26.This paper presents some of the results of projections prepared by the World Bank in 1983 for all the world's countries. The projections (presented against a background of recent demographic trends as estimated by the United Nations) trace the approach of each individual country to a stationary state. Implications of the underlying fertility and mortality assumptions are shown mainly in terms of time trends of total population to the year 2100, annual rates of growth, and absolute annual increments. These indices are shown for the largest individual countries, for world regions, and for country groupings according to economic criteria. The detailed predictive performance of such projections is likely to be poor but the projections indicate orders of magnitude characterizing certain aggregate demographic phenomena whose occurrence is highly probable and set clearly interpretable reference points useful in discussing contemporary issues of policy. (author's)
In: United Nations. Department of International Economic and Social Affairs. Population projections: methodology of the United Nations. New York, N.Y., United Nations, 1984. 60-6. (Population Studies, No. 83; ST/ESA/SER.A/83)This paper offers suggestions for guiding the next projection's exercise at the United Nations in light of third world life tables which, although severely limited, are believed to be relatively reliable. Of prime importance is the suggestion that expectation of life at birth in a number of less developed areas has begun to overtake and surpass the lower levels of such measures among the populations of developed countries. Although this is the 1st such occurrence on record, it is not likely to be reversed. A major implication of these patterns is that the causal linkages which have historically connected levels and patterns of socioeconomic development with those of mortality have become greatly attenuated. It is safe to say that major new causal mechanisms for reducing mortality have come into play which demographers have yet to comprehend adequately for purposes of projection. Another suggestion is to increase attention to the specific status and performance of national public-sector health programs (including water supply and sanitation) key factors affecting the onset and scale of mortality downtrends during the postwar decades. In addition, increasingly close attention needs to be paid to political disturbances, affecting health-care programs financing and associated delivery systems. With few exceptions, differences between female and male life expectancies at birth have been rising in the sample areas under review, implying that the gains over time for females have been higher than those for males. This directional pattern at both ages is remarkably similar to what has been found to hold with notable consistency among developed countries since 1920. Its prevalence suggests a bench-mark for checing the projected longevity differentials between males and females in the next UN exercise; at a minimum, these should be compared with past directions and magnitudes of change. Added or new attention should be given to comparisons between developed country and less developed country mortality measures; to how such measures vary by age at given points of time and shift by age over time; to sex differentials of both mortality levels and changes; and to the rapidly growing stocks of information becoming available on leading correlates of deaths, survival and morbidity rates. Such attention will enhance the quality, relevance and reliability of the future work of the UN on population projections.
In: United Nations. Department of International Economic and Social Affairs. Population projections: methodology of the United Nations. Papers of the United Nations Ad Hoc Expert Group on Demographic Projections, United Nations Headquarters, 16-19 November 1981. New York, United Nations, 1984. 15-6. (Population Studies No. 83; ST/ESA/SER.A/83)As the UN demographic estimates and projections cover all the developed and developing countries, special problems are encountered in data collection and evaluations. The responsibility for the UN projections rests primarily with the Population Division, but the results are the product of collaboration by all responsible offices within the UN system. This is 1 of the strengths of the UN population projections, yet there are numerous problems concerning those projections. Aside from the perpetual difficulties with collection and estimation of basic demographic indicators from incomplete data, all of which must be continuously undertaken, there are 8 major problems which have become more important in recent years and concern the current UN demographic projections. The 1st problem is the question of meeting the needs of the users who are the researchers, the planners, and the policymakers. The 2nd problem is that significant improvement can be made in the methodologies with, on the 1 hand, the prodigious advances in calculation devices and research techniques and on the other, a better knowledge of the economic and social context of demographic variables. The 3rd major problem in the component method of projections of fertility, which continues to be the most influential component to the future population of most nations. Another component of projection, mortality, has become a pressing issue in the field of projection as well. Knowledge of mortality in the third world is highly fragmentary. The 5th problematic issue is urbanization and city growth. There are severe problems with data comparability and projection methods. Sixth, for several developing and developed countries international migration plays a significant role in their population growth. More problematic than estimating the current net numbers of migrants is formulating assumptions about future patterns of international migration. Seventh, thus far demographic projections have largely been based on the demographic theory of transition, which appears to continue to be useful for developing countries. Yet, the demographic transition models are affected by a wider variety of trajectories than anticipated. Finally, no one has been able to explain clearly the major simultaneous movements of fertility of the developed countries. The question of obvious policy significance is what will happen in the future.
In: United Nations. Department of International Economic and Social Affairs. Population projections: methodology of the United Nations. New York, N.Y., United Nations, 1984. 25-32. (Population Studies, No. 83; ST/ESA/SER.A/83)The United Nations population projection assumptions are statements of expected trends in fertility, mortality and migration in the world. In every assessment, each of the 3 demographic components is unambiguously specified at the national level for each of the 5-year periods during the population interval (1950-2025). The approach used by the UN in preparing its projections is briefly summarized. At the general level, the analyst relies on available information of past events and current demographic levels and differentials, the demographic trends and experiences of similar countries in the region and his or her informed interpretations of what is likely to occur in the future. One common feature of the UN population projections that guides the analyst in preparing the assumptions is the general conceptual scheme of the demographic transition, or the socio-economic threshold hypothesis of fertility decline. As can be observed from the projected demographic trends reported in this paper, population stabilization at low levels of fertility, mortality and migration is the expected future for each country, with the only important differences being the timing of the stabilization. Irrespective of whether the country is developed, with very low fertility (for example, the Federal Republic of Germany or Japan), or developing with high fertility (such as, Bangladesh or the Syrian Arab Republic), it is assumed that fertility will arrive at replacement levels in the not too distant future. Serious alternative theories or hypotheses of population change, such as declining population size, are not only very few in number, but they tend to be somewhat more unacceptable and inconvenient to the demographic analyst as well as being considerably less palatable to goverments.
People. 1984; 11(1):5-8.The problem of rapid population growth and its ominous implications for human welfare may not have disappeared totally, but the short-term prospect for the rest of this century is a steady easing of demographic pressures. The passing of inflated rhetoric from the discussion of population issues would be welcome as would a growing confidence that demographic futures are not foreordained but are subject to influence by conscious collective action. There is a real danger that the optimistic interpretation being placed on recent demographic trends is misleading both public opinion and policymakers. Ill founded optimism can lead to inaction tomorrow. Projections issued by the UN became the most generally accepted and influential forecasts. Thus far they have also proved to be very accurate. Population trends up to 1980 proved that the concern elicited by the 1963 projections was well founded. In the 1960s the UN projections were considered as alarming evidence of the "population explosion" in progress. The projections prepared 17 years later broadly confirm their validity. For Asia and Africa the projections prepared in 1980 have been corrected upwards in comparison to the 1963 projections. Yet, the current forecasts tend to be regarded as demonstrations of a brightening demographic outlook. 1 answer for the seeming paradox is that the impression of an unanticipated demographic slowdown is created by sleight of hand. In current popular discussions of population trends the essential identity of the UN's 1963 and 1980 medium forecasts is conveniently ignored. Comparison is made between the UN medium projection in 1980 and an illustrative calculation prepared by the UN in 1963 showing that if fertility remained constant, the trajectory of demographic growth would have resulted in a population of 7.5 billion by the end of the century. A 2nd sophisticated answer would point out that in 1963 the projections reflected declines of fertility that were merely anticipated. The UN predictions for total population growth depicted here must be viewed with a degree of skepticism even as regards the relatively near term future. They imply not only sustenance of existing trends but also discontinuous change: the onset of a steady fertility decline beginning with 1980 in many populations where there exists no evidence that a decline has as yet started and where evidence of the preconditions for a decline is tenuous at best. What will bring about the stipulated decline to replacement level fertility? The answer is development, Malthusian checks, and population policies can help bring about the fertility trends which are built into the UN projections.