7-March-2002 -- L |

Share |

UNITED NATIONS MEETING TO ADDRESS "MAJOR IMPLICATIONS" OF WORLD "POPULATION DECLINE"

UNITED NATIONS, (LSN.ca) - The United Nations is convening an Expert Group Meeting on "Completing the Fertility Transition" in New York from 11 to 14 March 2002. The meeting, organized by the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, seeks input on fertility projection. The need for the move stems from the finding that many countries are plagued by fertility rates below replacement level.

A UN report on the upcoming meeting notes that "For decades, demographers have assumed that fertility rates in developing countries will eventually fall to replacement level -- about 2 children per woman -- and then stabilize at that level. However, over the past decade, more and more developing countries have joined developed countries in seeing their fertility levels fall below this replacement fertility floor, challenging the assumption that there is some inherent magnet drawing populations to a replacement-level equilibrium."

The report explains: "The past few decades have witnessed dramatic declines in fertility levels. Since 1965, world fertility has declined from 5.0 to 2.7 births per woman. Many countries have recorded striking reductions in fertility rates to levels below those needed to ensure population replacement." The UN has found that there are 74 countries with intermediate-level fertility, i.e., above 2.1 and below 5 children per woman. This group includes some of the most populous countries in the world, such as Bangladesh, Brazil, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Mexico, and Philippines. The organization predicts that "in the long run, if these 74 countries and current low-fertility countries remain below replacement-fertility levels, then their populations and that of the world as a whole will begin to decline."

Declining fertility rates will likely make their first major negative social impact in the area of welfare and health care programs. The United Nations has reported that aging populations, caused in large part by low birth rates, will seriously affect these support programs. UN demographers have noted that the "potential support ratio" (the number of people 15 to 64 who are available as workers to sustain the retirees) was 12 to 1 in 1950; in 2000, it was 9 to 1; and have predicted that by 2050, there may be only four working-age people for every person over 65 worldwide.

Despite the the alarming prognosis, some United Nations leaders still see population declines as a good thing and will argue for continued de-population policies.

To share this story with a friend, click on one of the share icons at the top of this page.


 

Back to List

 

 

HOME - EWTNews - FAITH - TELEVISION - RADIO - LIBRARY - MULTIMEDIA
WHAT'S NEW - GENERAL - RELIGIOUS CATALOGUE - PILGRIMAGES - ESPA´┐ŻOL

Terms of Use    Privacy Policy