Page 1

The Reporter January 2011 VOL. 43, ISSUE 1

Countries with Rapidly Growing Populations:

Running the Risk of Civil Conflict



from the president

ant a recipe for political




Between 1990 and 1994 the total cod

Malthusian misery? Take

population plummeted by more than 99

Some consistently deny links between

one arid African nation. Stir in rapid

percent. Some European ships began

population growth and human calami-

population growth. Remove a vital

venturing all the way to the Indian

ties predicted by Malthus. Perhaps it’s

source of food and income. Add pirates.


because this misery isn’t being visited



Simmer until boiling.




international terror and a nightmare worthy of Thomas Malthus.

As is so often the case, the burden

on anyone they know. As the Anglican

Somalia is the case in point. Four out

has fallen heaviest on the have-nots. A

cleric and scholar pointed out, “The his-

of ten people survive on less than one

UN report concluded that illegal fishing

tories of mankind are histories only of

dollar a day. The total fertility rate is the

in Somali waters by foreign trawlers

the higher classes.”

fifth highest on earth, at 6.5 children

costs that impoverished African nation

There are no quick, simple solutions

per woman—only 1 percent of whom

some $300 million annually. A modest

for places like Somalia, where popula-

use modern contraception. The average

sum perhaps by Western standards, but

tion is projected to double within 30


Somali does not live to celebrate a 50

huge for Somalia, where the per capita

years. Universal access to affordable


annual GDP hovers around $600.

contraception would help, though. So,

Three out of every ten Somalis have

Some experts project the global

too, would “a decent respect to the

been displaced from their homes due

destruction of all ocean fishing within

opinions of mankind” (in Jefferson’s

to conflict, drought, and other natural

40 years as human population contin-

words). Those who have so much

and man-made disasters. One out of

ues to soar.

should refrain from exploiting Somalia

five requires international food aid to

While there are international agree-

and other poor nations. Instead, we

ments governing that set limits on fish-

should strive to be helpful for reasons

While crops thrive on less than 2 per-

ing, they are difficult to enforce, espe-

both ethical and practical in today’s

cent of its land, Somalia does have the

cially for a nation like Somalia. After a

hyper-connected world.

longest coastline in Africa. Yet its fish-

nearly 20-year hiatus, Somalia reestab-

ing industry has vanished. Blame the

lished its navy in 2009, although it is

insatiable appetites of wealthy nations

hampered by a lack of ships.


and their mega-trawlers, which vacu-

Until recently, fishing was a sustain-

um fish out of the ocean to feed their

able way of life for Somalis. The

own populations.

upsurge in piracy seems clearly linked to

The Somali national government col-

the exploitation and decimation of their

lapsed in 1991. This coincided with

fishing grounds. Somalia lingers on the

another collapse. Cod fishing off

very edge of lawlessness. Its land may

Newfoundland was banned after four

not be arable, but it is fertile ground for

John Seager john@popconnect.org

Need a speaker? We’re always on the lookout for opportunities to spread the message. John Seager, President of Population Connection, and other key staff are available to make the population connection to the environment, women’s rights, social justice, and other global issues. If your environmental organization, school, university, religious group, or other gathering could use a lively presentation, just email Natalie Widel at nwidel@popconnect.org or call her at 1-800-767-1956 ext. 7725.

Volume 43, Issue 1 January 2011 Cover: Full caption on page 4 Photo: Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images

Pg. 5 The ZPG Society: Julian and Katharine Donahue By Julian P. Donahue

Pg. 8 Book Review: Population and Development: The Demographic Transition

Pg. 10 Demographic Security: Improving the Lot of the ‘Typical Human’ in 2050

By Marian Starkey

By Jack A. Goldstone, PhD





18 Washington View


In the News

20 Field & Outreach


Editor’s Note

22 Pop. Ed.



24 Remark

Printed on recycled paper


The Reporter — January 2011


January 2011 — The Reporter


In the News Volume 43, Issue 1 January 2011 Editor and Designer Marian Starkey Contributors Julian Donahue, Jack Goldstone, Rebecca Harrington, Stacie Murphy, John Seager, Marian Starkey, Pamela Wasserman Population Connection Overpopulation threatens the quality of life for people everywhere. Population Connection is the national grassroots population organization that educates young people and advocates progressive action to stabilize world population at a level that can be sustained by Earth’s resources. The Reporter (ISSN 0199-0071) Population Connection 2120 L Street, NW, Suite 500 Washington, DC 20037 Phone: 202-332-2200 Toll Free: 800-767-1956 Fax: 202-332-2302 Email: info@popconnect.org Website: www.popconnect.org

Since a last-minute budget deal was negoMontana who qualify for the state’s low-

blocked the bill for 14 years, but President

income health insurance program for minors

Aquino is unwavering in his belief that child-

(Healthy Montana Kids) have been prohibit-

bearing decisions should be left up to parents

ed from obtaining birth control for the pur-

and that the Church should not interfere.

pose of preventing pregnancy. The plan con-

Aquino is a practicing Catholic.

tinues to cover birth control for treating acne and regulating the menstrual cycle. Planned Parenthood of Montana is suing tion to prevent pregnancy, calling it a violation of privacy and equal protection rights. The hearing is set for May.

The Reporter — January 2011

Filipinos backed the bill, despite 80 percent of the population identifying as Catholic.

New Zealand Runs Out of Contraceptive Implant New Zealand ran out of Jadelle, a contra-

Last year, Healthy Montana Kids spent

ceptive implant from Finland, just two

$720,000 to cover the pregnancies and

months after the government offered subsi-

deliveries of 43 teen mothers.

dies that reduced the cost from $300 to $3. The implant lasts for up to five years and is

New Contraceptive Gel Scientists have developed a contraceptive

the gel does not have the same side effects as

Back Cover: Senior couple. Neringafoto, Dreamstime.com

A poll last year showed that 6 in 10

the state for its refusal to provide contracep-

President and CEO John Seager

Pg. 8-9 Huge Crowd. Kirsty Pargeter, Dreamstime.com

sidized contraceptives. The Catholic Church has successfully

gel that is applied topically, to a woman’s

Pg. 2-3 Camouflage wallpaper. Sybille Yates, Dreamstime.com

be given to the individual states, many of which would provide poor couples with sub-

tiated in the 2009 legislature, girls in

Board Chair Dianne Dillon-Ridgley

Cover: Palestinian youths run for cover as Israeli troops shoot across the border fence east of Gaza City after the removal of the body of a militant killed by Israeli gunfire at the spot on April 16, 2010. Military sources in Israel confirmed that a Palestinian gunman was killed, adding that troops had spotted a gunman trying to place an explosive device along the fence between the Palestinian enclave and Israel. The incident is the second of its kind in a week.


Planned Parenthood Sues the State of Montana

99.9 percent effective at preventing pregnancy. More than 200 women are now on the waiting list to receive Jadelle.

skin. Because of its low dose of hormones,

China Pays to Stop at One

the pill, and is also safe for nursing mothers.

Parents in Yunnan Province who are eligi-

The gel contains Nestorone, a synthetic

ble to have a second child will be rewarded

progesterone, and estrogen. Together, the

with 1,000 yuan ($149) in cash for choosing

drugs prevent the ovaries from releasing an

to have only one. Several other provinces

egg each month.

have similar cash rewards.

The contraceptive gel is still in the early stages of clinical trials, but results so far have

Pope Condones Condoms

been encouraging. It is being developed by

Pope Benedict XVI stated in an interview

Antares Pharma, an American pharmaceuti-

that condoms may be used by prostitutes to

cal company.

prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. This is a big departure from his statement last year about

Philippines RH Bill Update

condoms actually encouraging the spread of

The Reproductive Health Bill is currently

HIV/AIDS. He still condemns the use of con-

before the Philippines Congress. If the bill

doms or any other artificial contraception for

passes, responsibility for family planning will

the purpose of preventing pregnancy.

The ZPG Society honors members who have identified Population Connection as a beneficiary of their estates. Since our early days as Zero Population Growth, we have sought progressive solutions to ending rapid population growth and its terrible consequences. This is our legacy for the planet. Will it be yours? If you have already included Population Connection (or Zero Population Growth) in your estate plans, please contact Shauna Scherer, Major Gifts Manager, at (800) 767-1956 or sscherer@popconnect.org so that we may formally induct you into The ZPG Society!

Julian and Katharine Donahue

By Julian P. Donahue

I first joined ZPG in 1974. Kathy, my wife of two years, and I had already made the decision not to have children. Even then it was clear that the Earth was overpopulated. The ZPG video depicting the global population explosion made a profound impression on me—I’ve shared it at a number of environmental fairs and expos. And living in India as a young adult for three years in the late 1950s (my father was a USAID agronomist who was there working on increasing food production through improved soils and fertilizers) let me see overpopulation in action. As a lepidopterist, I was a colleague of Paul Ehrlich (my profession was museum curator of moths and butterflies). Of course The Population Bomb made a big impression on me. Because of my experience as an entomologist, where I witnessed firsthand how populations left unchecked can outstrip their resources, population stabilization was a no-brainer for me. In ecology classes I learned about “carrying capacity” and “limiting factors,” and I’ve been preaching those concepts ever since. I met Kathy at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, where we both began working in 1970; we were married a year and a half later. She was the Museum Librarian for 17 years before going to UCLA, where she was head of the History and Special Collections Division of the Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library. She retired in 2008. Having worked with biology books all her life, in an academic atmosphere, she became an early convert to the population stabilization cause.

Julian and Kath y with a Sake r Falcon at Ba b al Shams in Dubai

We have traveled the world together on Museum field trips and natural history tours, and since retirement the tempo of our foreign travel has increased—mostly using the quest to see new birds as an excuse. Since she retired we have birded in Cuba, the Lesser Sundas (Indonesia), Thailand, Peru, India, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, and Namibia, not to mention Hawaii, Arizona, New Mexico, Michigan, and North Carolina. I am disheartened by the fact that most of the world (especially the U.S.) hasn’t caught on to what I’ve known to be a fact for 40 years—overpopulation decreases the quality of life, depletes natural resources, destroys habitats and open spaces, causes species extinctions, increases pollution, increases traffic congestion, leads to periods of famine, and on and on. In my mind, education and legislation are the keys to putting the brakes on overpopulation, although in today’s political climate it seems to be an insurmountable task. But this is why we support Population Connection, and why 40 percent of our estate is earmarked for Population Connection—and has been since we created our family trust in 1991. www.popconnect.org

January 2011 — The Reporter


editor’s note


nwilling to foster dynamic economies that could create

demographic transition is

jobs attractive to educated young men, the countries

the series of phases that a

[non-oil Arab nations and Pakistan] became economically

population passes through

stagnant and reliant on the safety valve of worker emigration

as it goes from having high

either to the Arab oil states or to the West. Furthermore, the

birth and death rates to low

repression and isolation of women in many Muslim countries

birth and death rates. Naturally, during the period after death

have not only seriously limited individual opportunity but

rates fall, but before birth rates fall, population grows and

also crippled overall economic productivity.

there are many young people.

By the 1990s, high birthrates and declining rates of infant

Bradley Thayer, professor of Political Science at Baylor

mortality had produced a common problem throughout the

University, found that 60 of the 88 countries with youth

Muslim world: a large, steadily increasing population of

bulges are currently experiencing social unrest. He composed

young men without any reasonable expectation of suitable

a list of Islamic countries in which at least 30 percent of the

or steady employment—a sure prescription for social tur-

population is between the ages of 15 and 24. The list includes

bulence. Many of these young men, such as the enormous

Afghanistan, Yemen, Palestine, Iraq, Pakistan, Jordan, Syria,

number trained only in religious schools, lacked the skills

Oman, Egypt, Bangladesh, Libya, Algeria, and Morocco.

needed by their societies. Far more acquired valuable skills

According to Thayer, youth bulges in some of the most vul-

but lived in stagnant economies that could not generate

nerable countries provide terrorist leaders with a large pool of

satisfying jobs...

potential recruits for their fundamentalist causes.

Frustrated in their search for a decent living, unable to

One of the top researchers on this subject is Jack A.

benefit from an education often obtained at the cost of

Goldstone. Dr. Goldstone is a consultant to the State

great family sacrifice, and blocked from starting families of

Department, FBI, and USAID. He is also a professor at George

their own, some of these young men were easy targets for

Mason University, and the author of nine books and dozens


of articles. We are honored that he agreed to write an article —The 9/11 Commission Report

specifically for this issue of The Reporter that addresses the connections between demography and security.

A growing body of research suggests that a large propor-

Goldstone wrote earlier that “Youth have played a promi-

tion of young men in a society (compared with older work-

nent role in political violence throughout recorded history,

ing-age men) is a potent risk factor for civil war and Islamic

and the existence of a “youth bulge”...has historically been

fundamentalist terrorism. The theory that a “youth bulge”

associated with times of political crisis.” His article on page 10

(an unusually high proportion of youths 15 to 24 relative to

expands upon this theory and also includes his analysis on

the total adult population) is a disaster waiting to happen has

minimizing vulnerability to climate changes, maximizing

been around for some time. It is gaining support constantly,

human capital, and answering immigration questions that are

as new conflicts ignite amongst young populations around

critical to global security as the rich world shrinks and the

the world.

poor and middle-income world expands.

A youth bulge is a product of the demographic transition, explored in more detail in the book review on page 8. The Statistics and quotes in this column drawn from: Jack A. Goldstone, “Population and Security: How Demographic Change Can Lead to Violent Conflict” Journal of International Affairs, Fall 2002, vol. 56, no. 1. Bradley A. Thayer, “Considering Population and War: A Critical and Neglected Aspect of Conflict Studies” Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B, 2009, 364, 3081-3092.


The Reporter — January 2011

Marian Starkey mstarkey@popconnect.org

Letters to the Editor

Thanks for the latest issue of The Reporter. I just became a

women are refraining from motherhood, while people like the

member of Population Connection, and was pleased to see

Duggars have 19 children.

the issue focused on maternal mortality. I came early to the

Will the world be long on Duggars and short on those who

issue of overpopulation from an environmental/energy per-

recognize the need to control fertility? Scary thought.

spective, but when one starts to calculate CO2 emissions (per-

Joyce Calese

sonal or worldwide), it quickly becomes clear that fertility is a

Port St. Lucie, FL

crucial variable—and when considering how to most efficiently reduce CO2 emissions, I’ve recently come to understand

You all are doing such good work in the world, and I can see

that investing in family planning and maternal health is likely

you really know your topics. I was inspired to make a dona-

the most cost effective path, apart from the clear moral and

tion to support your work, so I just did that online.

humanitarian imperatives we should consider first.

Thank you again for all the great work you’re doing to

Brian Levy

make this world a better, healthier place.

Washington, DC

Sue Sikora Olympia, WA

Congratulations on an especially good looking issue. Allan Daniel

Submit a Letter

Park Ridge, NJ

Send correspondence to mstarkey@popconnect.org or via fax (202) 332-2302 or postal mail:

I am in complete agreement with the mission and goals of

Attn: Marian Starkey

Population Connection and am aware that many of the

Population Connection

world’s problems come from high fertility.

2120 L St. NW, Suite 500

However, I do find it troubling that educated, thinking

Washington, DC 20037

New Board Members Eli Y. Adashi, MD, MS is the immediate past Dean of Medicine and Biological Sciences at Brown University. He is presently a tenured professor in the Department of Medical Science at Brown University. As a recent Franklin fellow with over 25 years of experience in domestic and international health care, he is Senior Advisor on Global Women’s Health to the Secretary of State Office of Global Women’s Issues. He is also an advisor to the WHO, the World Bank, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. J. Joseph Speidel, MD, MPH is a professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of California, San Francisco and Director for Communication, Development and External Relations in the UCSF Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health. Dr. Speidel is a graduate of Harvard College, Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Speidel’s previous positions include Director of USAID’s Office of Population, President of Population Action International, and Director of the Population Program at the Hewlett Foundation. Jo Lynne Whiting is a marketing and advertising expert. She has helped market leaders and competitive upstarts across several continents achieve marked turnarounds in 12 to 18 months. She has executive experience as an officer of a Fortune 100 company. She has been part of the executive team at Sensis (Australian Yellow Pages company) and was Vice President of US West (now Qwest), a telecommunications company, from 1990 to 2000. She has been a longtime supporter of and tireless volunteer for ZPG/Population Connection. www.popconnect.org

January 2011 — The Reporter



Review by Marian Starkey

Dyson was my professor of Population

tion and delaying parenthood

and Development at the London

makes a lot more sense. The

School of Economics. He was the most

challenge is to get fertility rates

animated, enthusiastic professor I ever had. He sprinted back

to come down as quickly as pos-

and forth across the front of the classroom, rushing to show

sible after mortality decline

us pertinent graphs on the overhead projector that illustrated

occurs. The longer it takes

his favorite, most hard-hitting points. One of his students

between these two events, the

recently created a Tim Dyson Appreciation Society page on

faster and larger the population

Facebook. As the tagline for the group justifies, “Because

will grow.

anyone who can make the Demographic Transition seem so

Dyson found that every coun-

damn exciting, and in fact so important, deserves a fan club.”

try that has experienced mortali-

Population and Development is a scholarly book about a

ty decline has subsequently

complex topic. But it is written for anyone interested in pop-

experienced urbanization and that urbanization is happening

ulation issues. It’s an overview of the demographic transition

at a faster pace than ever before. In fact, he states that all

(the change from high to low birth and death rates), with

future population growth will occur in urban areas, both from

plenty of examples and footnotes explaining obscure terms

natural increase (births over deaths) and rural to urban migra-

and concepts. It should be read by anyone studying

tion. Slums in developing countries are absorbing much of the

International Development, Public Health, or Development

new urban population. Most of the people living in slums have

Economics, especially if demography is not covered in the

no electricity, running water, or proper sanitation facilities.

degree program. As Dyson makes clear throughout the

One of Dyson’s driving points is that fertility decline has

book, the development we’ve seen over the past two cen-

never happened anywhere without mortality decline hap-

turies would never have occurred if it weren’t for the demo-

pening first. This is important to consider in the planning of

graphic transition and its social and economic implications.

new family planning programs or the evaluation of those

This book is a wake-up call to anyone who believes that

that already exist. Programs that address several issues simul-

the rapid population growth that the developing world is

taneously—the creation of new livelihoods, environmental

experiencing is different or “worse” than the growth experi-

and resources conservation, and especially health interven-

enced by industrialized countries early in their own transi-

tions (which lead to mortality decline)—are particularly suc-

tions. As his abundant examples illustrate, the pattern by

cessful at attracting new contraceptive users and achieving

which countries worldwide advance through the transition is

critical buy-in from the community and its leaders.

the same. In each instance, population growth precedes fer-

Dyson addresses the benefits of lower fertility for women,

tility decline, as a natural consequence of mortality decline.

including greater gender equality, employment opportuni-

“[W]hen dealing with the demographic transition we are

ties, and time to pursue other interests. He also briefly dis-

focusing on a phenomenon that, in very long-run perspec-

cusses population aging in the industrialized world. He trivi-

tive, is fundamentally uniform.”

alizes the panic over aging, saying that it will be no more

Mortality decline is a good thing. Fewer people dying at younger ages means that parents and societies begin to see


challenging than when children made up a larger proportion of the population compared with working adults.

the value in education, savings, infrastructure development,

This is not an advocacy book by any means and it’s not a

and other human capital and quality of life investments.

light read. It is, however, an essential analysis for under-

When people expect to die in their forties, it’s difficult to

standing and appreciating the massive societal changes that

convince them that they should stay in school rather than

occur from a pre-transitional society, wherein most children

marry and have children during adolescence. When they

die, to a post-transitional society, in which a slower-growing

plan to live until they are in their seventies, pursuing educa-

population enjoys a longer and higher quality of life.

The Reporter — January 2011

Zed Books. 2010. Pp272. US$28.95. ISBN-13: 978-1842779606

Book Review

Population and Development: The Demographic Transition

Excerpts from Population and Development By Tim Dyson, PhD

fits the o bene ls a e n li c it is the tility de inly, fer ansition r a t t r e e c h t t hin e of Almos the rat rse, wit u in o c ll f a f y. O he ecogabout t econom been r brings g h n ic lo h w as ut it h ere the process wth. B ces wh o n r a g t s n m tio from to circu popula fertility mpared in o c e n — li t c a e d h—a d nized th save an ains hig tion to m e la r u e p t o a ap (i.e. birth r allows capital ls n e a v m le u fh low ysical erms o high to s of ph oth in t b m r — e t e r o ) and in invest m y, etc.). training d n a achiner n m io , t s a c ie r u to ed ads, fac (e.g. ro l a it p a c

The d emog raphi ly im c tran porta sition n t and has b the large world een a l y a terrif d w vanta ould place icalg p e robab ous a if th f e l f y r a e w aroun ir. Bu be a ere t d. An more some d, pr s w rema e c h o u a v r t few e ided ins re that er o lative many the w f us ly un peop orld’s chan le wi ged, clima large ll ben then te and efit i the l l o n n i v g ga birth e a s l l of sorts ps b rates etwe of w can en d pass a y b s e i eath f throu reduc rates gh th ed, a e dem and s the ograp ir co untri hic tr es ansit ion.

Research shows that children in smaller families tend to do better in terms of their nutritional, health and educational status, compared to children in larger families (i.e. children with more siblings).


of inte rnation conclud al cros e that r s-sectio a p nal da id p opulatio effect o ta ofte n a cou n grow n t n h t r h y a ’s s le a equal. A n adver vel of d se potentia emocra cy, othe lly diffic ing po r u t lt h in f pulatio eature gs n is th of a rap e expa young idly gro nsion o adults— wf the n say, th Particu umber ose in larly if of the ag employ e r a n this ag g m e e n 1 t 5-24. is hard e range to find can be , of expr p e e s p o e p cially c le in essing halleng discont ing in t nance o ent, an e rms d there f sociofore th politica e main l stabilit tey.

The period since about 1800 has been termed the ‘Anthropocene’ because of the huge impact which people have had on the world’s environment. The massive rise in CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions is especially important here—because it threatens calamitous climate change. In simple terms, it’s a question of both what we do, and how many of us there are. Population growth has played—and it will

present— past, as well as — th ow gr n Populatio n to global role in relatio nt ca ifi gn si a . plays imate change e threat of cl th d an g in m t war portant subjec at extremely im th if en ev , e And th the case that side, it remains is put on one rapidly countries with or po y an m future of iably better will be apprec ns tio la pu po growing faster, rather their fertility ce du re n ca t if they al doubt abou . There is no re ly ow sl e or m pthan e can be few ha nnection, ther co at th In . at th the viduals and both for indi s— ge an ch er pi e prolive—than thos ey th ch hi w societies in adoption of, and the free , to ss ce ac vided by ption. ds of contrace modern metho

continue to play—a significant underlying role in this connection. www.popconnect.org

January 2011 — The Reporter



The Reporter — January 2011


January 2011 — The Reporter



the last twenty years, the vol-

recently striking major developing world

increase by only 30 percent in the next

ume of deaths from major

cities, not only in Iraq and Afghanistan,

forty years, from 2010 to 2050 (UN

conflicts has plummeted, and

but Mumbai and Lahore, as well as

2010a). Yet it is not the total number of

American and European cities.

people on the planet by itself that will

the number of major, ongoing, political conflicts has sharply declined. In the

Natural disasters have become worse

Balkans, in Liberia and Sierra Leone, in

as well. Flooding in Pakistan that affect-

security in the near future. What mat-

the Democratic Republic of Congo,

ed an estimated 20 million people was

ters is how they are distributed across

Ethiopia, and Rwanda, and in Nepal and

an unprecedented toll for a single disas-

regions and across age groups, their

Sri Lanka, among others, civil wars have

ter. But it came at the end of a decade

exposure and contribution to changing

given way to peace agreements and

of headline crises caused by earth-

climate, and their opportunities for edu-

elected governments.

quakes in Haiti, Sichuan, Kashmir, and

cation, jobs, migration, and health. And

Indonesia that killed tens or hundreds of

in these regards, a number of troubling


trends are raising grave challenges.

Yet we still feel insecure—and with good reason. Despite death tolls that

determine prospects for prosperity and

are modest for civil wars (in Iraq, for

Finally, a large number of lawless or

First, the ability of today’s rich coun-

instance, combatant deaths in the thou-

weakly-governed regions exist in many

tries to serve as motors of the global

sands and civilian deaths in the tens of

countries—notably the Niger Delta, the

economy and keepers of global peace is

thousands are a far cry from the hun-

eastern Democratic Republic of the

going to decline substantially in coming

dreds of thousands or millions killed in

Congo, the northern border regions in

decades. This is because of the aging

Photos, left to right: 1. A small boy after he receives his ration at an IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) camp in Kenya. Tom Otieno/Afrishot 21, Photoshare. 2. A child experiences detainment at an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in Dili, East Timor. Arturo Sanabria, Photoshare. 3. Child soldiers in the DRC. Ksundvall, Flickr. 4. Children at an IDP camp in northern Uganda. Alessandro Vincenzi, Photoshare.


many civil wars that raged in the

Mexico, parts of Central America and

and shrinking of the workforce in

1980s), the number of displaced peo-

the Caribbean, parts of northeast India,

today’s richest nations. In these nations

ples fleeing from potential violence has

and sections of the Caucuses, among

(all of Europe, including the Russian

skyrocketed, quadrupling from 1980 to

others—which provide easy access for

Federation, Australia and New Zealand,

2010 and reaching 40 million people

criminal gangs and drug trafficking, and

the United States and Canada, and

(Center for Systemic Peace, 2010).

suffer from high rates of homicide, kid-

Japan and South Korea), the prime

These tens of millions, living far from

napping, rape, and assault.

workforce population, aged 15-59, will

home in foreign countries, refugee

What have these trends got to do

decline by over 100 million, or about 15

camps or swollen cities pose a constant

with global population changes? After

percent by 2050. Even more startling,

threat of renewed violence, and a chal-

all, global population growth is dramat-

the fraction of all adults (aged 20 and

lenge to public health and welfare. In

ically slowing down: overall world pop-

up) over age 60 in these countries will

addition, terror attacks against civilians

ulation, which grew by almost 90 per-

increase from 25 percent to 37 percent.

have become a global scourge, most

cent from 1970 to 2010, is projected to

In the most rapidly aging countries,

The Reporter — January 2011

Yet it is not the total number of people on the planet by itself that will determine prospects for prosperity and security in the near future. What matters is how they are distributed across regions and across age groups, their exposure and contribution to changing climate, and their opportunities for education, jobs, migration, and health. And in these regards, a number of troubling trends are raising grave challenges.

At the same time, a combination of continued population growth and increases in education, capital ratios, and hence productivity per worker in the developing countries will shift global economic growth potential heavily in their direction. Indeed, while the prime labor force (the population aged 1559) is expected to shrink by 100 million in the richer countries by 2050, the population in this age group in the developing world is projected to grow by 1.2 billion. We can divide developing countries into two groups. There are those that have nearly completed



Children in a camp for internally displaced persons in Minakulu, Uganda, lie under a mosquito net in preparation for bedtime. Minakulu IDP camp is just one of hundreds of such camps created by the government to protect civilians from rebel attacks during the civil war that has rocked Northern Uganda for the last 20 years. Malaria is one of the leading killer diseases in protected camps. Gilbert Awekofua/Straight Talk Foundation, Photoshare. Women carry water home in Geles, an Arab village in Darfur. While the ACT-Caritas Darfur Emergency Response Operation is focused primarily on responding to the needs of Darfur's internally displaced people, it also is helping Arab villages, many of them host communities, as a contribution toward reconciliation and peace. Paul Jeffrey/ACT-Caritas, Photoshare.

transition, and are enjoy-

such as Germany, Italy, and Japan, this

ing a ‘demographic dividend’ of rapid

fraction will reach 40 percent or even

growth among the prime working pop-

50 percent of all adults. Even in relative-

ulation, with smaller cohorts of children

ly youthful rich countries, like the

and elderly and modest overall growth.

United States, the proportion of those

And there are those where the demo-

over 60 among all adults over 20 will

graphic transition is in the early stages

increase from roughly 1 in 5 today to

or stalled, so that they are still burdened

almost 1 in 3 by mid-century. With a

with rapidly rising youth cohorts and

shrinking and aging labor force, rich

total populations that are set to double

countries will struggle to keep up the

every 25 to 35 years. In the first group

level of productivity gains and rates of

are countries such as China, India,

overall economic growth they enjoyed

Brazil, Turkey, Indonesia, Vietnam, and

in the last forty years. This shrinking

Mexico. These are the likely economic

pool of manpower for labor and military

powerhouses of the next century, and

roles will also mean a reduced ability to

the countries that will have to step up to

send troops to intervene in global trou-

take on responsibilities in global peace-

ble spots, while a much larger share of

keeping commensurate with their

national output will have to be spent on

increased role in the global economy. In

support and health care for the aging

the second group are countries such as

rather than on defense.

Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Palestine,


Photos on pages 10-11 (clockwise from top left):

Internally displaced women return to their camp in West Darfur, after scouring the surrounding countryside for precious firewood. Conflict-affected populations dependent on wood for cooking and local vegetation for shelter materials overexploit the environment in the vicinity of the camps and over time must journey deeper into insecure areas to gather essential supplies. Doug Mercado, Photoshare. A young boy from Darfur, who was displaced by an attack against his village, sleeps next to what remains of his family's possessions after reaching the relative safety of Kalma camp. Armed men killed his father two days earlier, leaving the young boy and his mother to face an uncertain future in a fractured land. Doug Mercado, Photoshare. January 2011 — The Reporter


Chad, Rwanda, Guinea, Uganda, the

the demographically blessed countries

ple added to the population of urban

Democratic Republic of the Congo,

(those with a large labor force but few

areas in poorer countries. At that point,

Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Iraq, Ethiopia,

older and not too many younger people)

the ‘typical’ human being will be a city-

Kenya, Guatemala, Timor-Leste and

on the sidelines. This seems unlikely to

dweller in one of today’s developing

Nigeria. It is no coincidence that these

be a formula for success.

regions (UN 2010b).

countries also read like a list of those

Second, and equally alarming, is the

The quality of life on earth thus will

countries most in need of international

global trend to concentrating popula-

depend primarily on how that ‘typical’

intervention for humanitarian assistance

tion growth in megacities and in regions

human lives.

or peace-keeping. In these countries,

especially vulnerable to climate change.

Will the megacities of China, India,

the combination of weak, corrupt or

Throughout human history, living in

Pakistan, Egypt, Nigeria, Ethiopia,

divided government and large popula-

cities has been a privilege of the few,

Mexico, Brazil, and elsewhere be safe,

tions of young people creates propitious

and only in the richest societies. The

healthy, productive and creative places?

conditions for militias and rebels to

great cities of the past were capitals and

Or will they be Dickensian pools of dis-

recruit followers and to exploit local

trading centers of the richest empires

ease, crowding, crime, and unemploy-

resources and populations, creating

and kingdoms—Rome, Baghdad, Cairo,

ment, where a privileged and wealthy

political instability. It is vital to improve

Venice, Madrid, London, Paris, Istanbul,

minority seeks to wall off a vast under-

governance, education, and economic



class? And perhaps even more impor-

opportunities in the countries of this

Delhi—which even then rarely held

tant, will the new megacities be more

second category, in order to provide

more than 10 percent of their societies’

energy-efficient, less polluting, and


employment for ever-larger youth

total populations. Yet today, we find

more resilient to natural disasters than

cohorts. It is also critical in these early-

most of the world’s large cities, those

the dispersed villages that their inhabi-

transition countries to improve maternal

with one million or more people (from

tants left behind? Or, will they repro-

health and women’s reproductive rights

Lagos and Cairo to Karachi, Mumbai,

duce the high energy and material

in order to complete the demographic

and Jakarta) in some of the world’s

using, high pollution and high waste

transition and get on the path toward

poorest countries. What is more, these

producing residential, transport, and

enjoying a demographic dividend. It is

countries are increasingly concentrating

manufacturing systems of today’s rich

countries that have completed the

their populations in megacities of 5 to

world, with the vulnerability to natural

demographic transition, and arrived at

10 million or even larger. In just the last

disasters of today’s developing country

favorable ratios of workers to young

decade, humanity as a whole made a

population centers? On the answer to

and elderly, that have shown the great-

historic shift from being a primarily rural

that question, and the kind of environ-

est success in making transitions to

to a primarily urban species, as more

mental footprint left by cities of the

steady economic growth, democracy,

than half of all people worldwide now

near future, will ride much of the actu-

and political stability (Cincotta 2008).



live in metropolitan urban regions. By

ality or illusion of the threat posed by

What is most striking, from a security

2050, roughly two-thirds of all people,

long-term climate change in the late 21st

point of view, is that looking forward to

even in Asia and Africa, are projected to

and early 22nd centuries.

coming decades, the current structure of

live in urban areas, and roughly 80 per-

This question is particularly pressing

global security—based largely on NATO

cent of them will live in today’s devel-

because of the trend of global popula-

and the UN Security Council permanent

oping countries. The projected growth

tion growth to concentrate in areas par-

members—puts the main tasks of global

of the urban population in the less

ticularly vulnerable to climate change.

security on the shoulders of the demo-

developed regions is 73 percent, or

The fastest growing countries in the

graphically declining countries to assist

more than twice as fast as global popu-

world cluster in the arid regions of the

and improve security in the demograph-

lation growth on the whole. Indeed, it is

Sahel and the Middle East, and the

ically burdened countries (those with

no exaggeration to say that virtually all

monsoon-dependent regions of south

weak governance but fast-growing and

of net global population growth in the

Asia. Roughly three-quarters of all net

very youthful economies). This leaves

next 40 years will take the form of peo-

global population growth in the next

The Reporter — January 2011

A young refugee in the Kounoungo camp in eastern Chad. Conflict in the Darfur region of neighboring Sudan has killed an estimated 30,000 people and displaced nearly 1.5 million others since early 2003. This young boy is one of the 12,000 who now crowd the Kounoungo camp, awaiting the peace that will allow them to return home. David Snyder/CRS, Photoshare. www.popconnect.org

January 2011 — The Reporter


four decades will occur in these areas.

efficient, that can protect public health

the spread of diseases, crime, and cli-

Flooding from too-heavy or regionally

and safety, and can offer resilience and

mate shifts to even the richest nations

shifting monsoons and devastating

refuge from climate change and natural

of the globe.

droughts from monsoon failures or

disasters, then building and expanding

Finally, keeping global migration to

increasing aridity will likely afflict these

the cities of the developing world can

levels that are manageable and do not

regions just as they struggle to feed and

contribute greatly to global prosperity.

increase conflicts will depend on



Yet if developing countries put up con-

improving the quality of life and eco-

Displaced populations, which still num-

ventional cities and transport and ener-

nomic opportunities and resilience to

ber in the tens of millions, are also con-

gy networks, and do not greatly

disaster in those countries with the

centrated in these regions, as they have

improve their governance of them, the

youngest and fastest-growing popula-

been the major sites of conflict in the

ravenous appetite of these centers for

tions. If those additions to the global

last decade.

energy and materials, and their vulnera-

labor force and their families—roughly



There is both a vast economic oppor-

bility to terrorism, natural disasters,

two billion in the next forty years, all in

tunity and a vast risk here. If new mod-

organized crime, and disease will


els of urban centers can be designed

degrade the quality of life for much of

work, or are driven to flee from crime,

and built that are energy and material-

humanity, and pose global threats from

climate deterioration and natural disas-



A woman takes refuge in an IDP camp set up on a lava flow in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She is displaced by fighting between rebels and government forces in the eastern Congo. Paul Jeffrey, Photoshare. 16

The Reporter — January 2011

Finally, keeping global migration to levels that are manageable and do not increase conflicts will depend on improving the quality of life and economic opportunities and resilience to disaster in those countries with the youngest and fastest-growing populations. If those additions to the global labor force and their families—roughly two billion in the next forty years, all in developing countries—cannot find work, or are driven to flee from crime, climate deterioration and natural disasters, they will seek asylum in the richer countries, or the more successful developing nations.

free-for-all of competition and idiosyncratic exclusions, both host nations and the inevitably fast-growing wave of potential immigrants would have a clearer idea of their rights and opportunities for education, work, and settlement abroad. The world has made remarkable progress in extending life spans, reducing violent conflicts, and diminishing overall population growth. Yet as with all successes, new challenges arise in their wake. A changed world is coming at us fast, where the typical person is neither an urban resident in the rich West, nor a poor peasant in the Third World, but a person living in a megacity in a middle or lower-income country. If we do not prepare quickly for that world, we risk living on a planet with much higher risks from crime, disease, unchecked



ters, they will seek asylum in the richer

ing countries where most of the world’s

humanitarian disasters, and political

countries, or the more successful devel-

future labor force is growing up today,


oping nations. While richer countries

and improving local governance so that

will need some increased migration to

those investments can bear fruit. This is

fill positions created by their own

vital to enabling those youth to become

declining labor force, they will neither

productive adults with local opportuni-

need nor desire a tsunami of migrants

ties to lead secure lives, and to diminish

such as would be unleashed by major

the ungoverned or poorly governed

failures in developing countries to cope

spaces in which crime and terrorism

with rapid urban growth or with climate

thrive. A crucial part of this will be gain-

changes that undermine local produc-

ing government support for measures

tivity or increase disaster risk.

to improve women’s health and repro-

At this moment, neither the global

ductive rights to help countries that

security architecture nor the design of

have not yet done so to complete their

urban systems seems well-suited to the

demographic transition. A third will be

challenges that lie ahead. We thus need

global cooperation in developing and

new ‘architecture’ for both. Reshaping

implementing new designs for large-

global governance to give a greater role

scale urban systems that will improve

to the countries that will be the chief

rather than degrade the quality of life

motors for global economic growth will

for those living and working in them. A

be one major key to future security. A

fourth key will be developing global

second will be promoting investments in

agreements and conventions on inter-

education and capital in those develop-

national migration, so that instead of a


References Center for Systemic Peace. 2010. “Global Conflict Trends.” Website updated September 11, 2010. http://www.systemicpeace.org/conflict.htm Cincotta, Richard. 2008. “How Democracies Grow Up.” Foreign Policy, February 19, 2008. http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2008/0 2/19/how_democracies_grow_up United Nations. 2010a. “World Population Prospects: The 2008 Revision Data Base” Online at http://esa.un.org/UNPP/. Consulted December 12, 2010. United Nations. 2010b. “World Urbanization Prospects: The 2007 Revision Population Data Base.” On-line at http://esa.un.org/unup/. Consulted December 12, 2010.

January 2011 — The Reporter


Washington View

Family Planning Faces a Tough Road After 2010 Midterm Elections Losses in the House Mean Hostile Legislation is Likely By Stacie Murphy

here is just no other way to say it: the

Attempts to ban federal funding for

November 2010 midterm elections

Planned Parenthood and other reproduc-

dealt a major setback to family plan-

tive health care providers who receive fed-

ning advocates. After two years of significant

eral money to provide medical care to low-

progress in both funding levels and policy

income women.


language, we are now faced with the reality

A similar effort occurred in the past in the

that holding on to the status quo may have to

form of an amendment authored by Rep.

be our new definition of victory.

Mike Pence (R-IN/6th).

Dozens of supportive House members were defeated in races across the country by

Attempts to block U.S. funding for the

opponents who ran on extremely conserva-

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

tive platforms. Although we don’t yet know

After being denied funding by the Bush

for certain how these incoming members will

Administration on the specious grounds that

vote on our issues, the outlook for many of

it supports coercive practices overseas, the

them is not promising.

U.S. has resumed its contributions to the pro-

We do know that the incoming Speaker of

gram under President Obama.

the House, John Boehner (R-OH/8 ), does th

not have a good track record either. He is

Attempts to reinstate the Global Gag Rule.

vocally anti-choice, and during the debate

Rescinded by President Obama in his first

over health care reform he specifically object-

week in office, imposing the Gag Rule would

ed to a provision designed to increase the

instantly defund some of the most experi-

availability of contraception to low-income

enced, effective family planning providers

women under Medicaid (the provision did

working in the developing world. The policy

survive into the final bill). Even more omi-

is a favorite of the anti-choice establishment.

nously, he personally met with the virulently, and violently, anti-choice former leader of

The restoration of Bush-era abstinence-

Operation Rescue, Randall Terry.

only programming and the defunding of

Given this new makeup, we expect to see multiple


The Reporter — January 2011










Prevention Initiative.

Representatives to impose damaging restric-

After finally ending the Community Based

tions on family planning funding and policy in

Abstinence Education (CBAE) program,

2011. We have to assume that we will see

President Obama announced new invest-

each of the following in some form:

ments in effective, medically accurate, scien-

Rep. John Boehner (R-OH/8th) House Republican Conference

tifically-based programs to reduce the inci-

the Senate. However, our margins in the

dence of teen pregnancy and STIs. This

Senate are still smaller than they were before,

tremendous step forward could well be

and the overall tone of the chamber is likely

undone by ideologues dedicated to the absti-

to be more rancorous. We are going to have

nence-only approach.

to be vigilant in monitoring the legislation the

These are only some of the more obvious threats we face in the coming months—and

Senate accepts as they negotiate with the now-more conservative House.

worse, our analysis indicates that each of

The new congressional session is scheduled

these initiatives would likely win if put to a

to start later this month, and Population

floor vote in the new House.

Connection will be watching closely.

Fortunately, the picture is somewhat better

Sign up to receive updates on legislative

in the Senate, where several extreme Right

matters on our website, in the STAY UPDATED!

Wing candidates failed in their attempts to

box on the upper right-hand side. Receive

win seats held by family planning supporters.

daily population and family planning news by

Even if all the above measures pass the

becoming a fan of our Facebook page:

House, they would be unlikely to survive in



January 2011 — The Reporter


Field & Outreach

We Can’t Grow on Like This

Interdisciplinary Grassroots Outreach Engaging communities across the country, starting with their interests By Rebecca Harrington

Creating Peaceful Families

Marilyn later reflected, “The conversation

Marilyn Mayers attended our spring panel

explored how the ability of a woman to con-

discussion, “Stories from the Frontlines,” at

trol her destiny largely depends on the avail-

Bellevue College, just outside Seattle. She

ability of peace, family planning, and educa-

wanted to keep grassroots momentum going

tion. The group appreciated learning about

in her community so she invited Population

what is being done to address these needs

Connection to speak on a panel at the East

both here and in developing countries.”

Shore Unitarian Church (ESUC), where she is a member of the East Shore Women’s Perspective group. Women’s Perspective pro-

We continued the conversation about

motes human dignity, environmental balance,

women’s empowerment in November, with a

and world peace by doing service work with

screening of Not Yet Rain at Ohio State

local homeless shelters and supporting inter-

University. We co-hosted the event with the

national efforts in female education and

Ohio State Global Health Initiative, an aware-


ness-raising student group that coordinates

The panel—“Creating Peaceful Families”—

local and international volunteer opportuni-

explored different approaches to reducing

ties, including clinic work and high school

violence in the home and fostering healthy


families both domestically and internationally.

About 70 students attended the screening

Lucie Eldridge of the Puget Sound Domestic

and stayed for a thoughtful discussion after-

Violence Safety Project shared her experience

ward. Students asked questions about the

as a long-time advocate for domestic violence

Global Gag Rule, shared their experiences in

victims. She described the work of the Project,

public health work, and expressed reserva-

which unites survivors, police, and relevant

tions about Rep. Steve Stivers’ commitment

agencies so that they can educate each other

to family planning. Rep. Stivers (R-OH/15th)

and develop more effective methods for tack-

was elected to the seat currently held by

ling domestic violence.

Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy, in November. Rep.

About 25 women attended the program. The audience joined the panelists for a dis-


The Reporter — January 2011

Film Screening

Kilroy has been a strong supporter of family planning and reproductive choice.

cussion after the presentations about, in

Attendees included a recently returned

Marilyn’s words, “the structural and social

Peace Corps volunteer who worked on fami-

issues which perpetuate violence against

ly planning while abroad and is now working

women in different forms.”

toward her masters in Public Health at Ohio

State. Another participant is involved with

the Columbus staff of Rep. Kilroy, and a com-

the campus International Development

munity “salon” hosted by a Columbus cou-

Coalition and hopes to pair with Population

ple actively engaged in the city’s arts, media,

Connection to host an event on campus in

and legal communities.

Rebecca Harrington and Ayla Cash, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

the near future. Ayla Cash, President of the Global Health


Initiative, said after the event, “As population

We are working with East Shore Unitarian

continues to grow around the world, new

Church to coordinate an in-district advocacy

technologies such as birth control pills, [repro-

meeting with the staff of Rep. Dave Reichert

ductive health] policies, and expanded rights

(R-WA/8th). We are also planning an in-dis-

to abortion have increased the power women

trict advocacy meeting in the third district of

command; however, women’s healthcare is

Minnesota, where Erik Paulsen has been the

an often overlooked topic in many developing

Representative since January 2009.

nations. Thank you, Population Connection,

Capitol Hill Days 2011, our annual lobby

for bringing information about the population

training event, will be held in Washington,

crisis to the OSU campus!”

DC from April 1-5. Student scholarships are

Other events that we coordinated this fall included an in-district advocacy meeting with

Panelists Lucie Eldridge and Rebecca Harrington at East Shore Unitarian Church, Bellevue, WA

available! Find more info and register online at http://tinyurl.com/CapitolHillDays2011.

Activist Spotlight: Marilyn Mayers While pursuing doctoral research in Egypt during the 1980s, Marilyn worked for USAID as part of a multidisciplinary team examining Egypt’s health sector. During that effort, she came to recognize the complex relationships between population pressures, poverty, and health. Later, while teaching contemporary world issues to high school students in Washington state, she made a point of educating students about these connections. As a service volunteer within the Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation, Marilyn is able to stand in solidarity with women both here and abroad. She believes deeply that the need to empower girls and women is one of the critical issues of our time. www.popconnect.org

January 2011 — The Reporter



Activity: “The Chips of Trade” Using common objects to demonstrate resource distribution By Pamela Wasserman

country’s security heavily depends on

resent resources. It is easier to maintain the

its resource base. Does the country

health and wellbeing of a country’s citizens if


the country has a large and varied base of




resources for its citizens’

use and for trade to other

resources. This means that a country not only has resources in large quantities,


but that it possesses assorted types

What are characteris-

of resources—food, fuel, miner-

tics of resource-rich and resource-poor countries? How and why does trade for these resources occur?

als, cropland, access to clean water, etc. 5. Go over the terms export and import with the class.

In this teaching activity from our new

Export: a product we sell to other countries

online lesson plan at worldof7billion.org, stu-

that can’t or don’t make enough of the

dents will gain an understanding of global

item to meet their populations’ needs.

resource distribution and how it is affected by

Import: a product we buy from another

population growth. This activity is especially

country because we can’t or don’t make

appropriate for the middle school social stud-

enough of the item to meet our popula-

ies classroom.

tion’s needs. 6. Tell the students that upon a given signal

Materials: Poker chips; Yarn or masking tape

each country should try to collect up to, but no more than, three chips.

Procedure: 1. Count out poker chips so you have exactly twice as many chips as the number of students participating in the activity. 2. Select an area large enough to allow all students to move around the room. It might

8. Separate the class into four groups as outlined below and inform them of the meaning of their collections. Group 1: Students with three chips represent countries with rich resource bases that

12 ft x 12 ft.

are able to export more resources than other

off area at random.

The Reporter — January 2011

from inside the square.

be helpful to mark off an area approximately 3. Spread the chips out within the marked


7. Give a signal for students to collect chips

countries. Group 2: Students with two chips repre-

4. Explain to the students that each of

sent countries with more limited resource

them represents a country and the chips rep-

bases. Exports will be possible but some

Photo credits: Copper ore; Edward Westmacott. Oil extraction; Oleg Kozlov. Grain stalks; Arievdwolde. Rice; Kostyantin Pankin. Poker chips; Bjørn Hovdal. Dreamstime.com

imports may be needed.

country in each group?

Group 3: Students with one chip represent

2. If you don’t have a well-balanced

countries with either very limited resource

resource base, what could you do to improve

bases or an inability to access the natural

your situation?

resources they might have. Exports will be minimal and there will be a heavier reliance on imports.

3. How does Group 1’s ability to export resources affect its wealth and wellbeing? 4. How does Group 4’s dependence on the

Group 4: Students with no chips represent countries that have virtually no resources or

resources of other countries affect its wealth and wellbeing?

an inability to access resources to adequately

5. Based on the resources you have, would

support a human population. There is essen-

you like to see your country’s population

tially no capability for exports and a maxi-

increase, decrease, or stay the same? Why?

mum need for imports.

6. As a country’s leader, how does knowing the population of your country help

Discussion Questions: 1. Have the students look around the room

you plan for the future? 7. How are a country’s resources

and take note of how many “countries”

impacted by the size of its pop-

received three chips, two chips, one chip, and

ulation? By population

no chips. What would it be like to live in a


The chart below provides four countries as examples that fall into each group. Share the chart with your class by making it into a transparency, using PowerPoint, or making photocopies. * You’ll notice that Canada and Colombia export approximately the same amount as they import. However, this isn’t the case with Nepal and Eritrea. How can a country afford to import more than it exports? (Discuss borrowing from other countries; national debt; raising taxes, etc.) Data Sources: Population Reference Bureau; CIA Factbook. The full activity is available at www.Worldof7billion.org.

Group 1

Group 2

Group 3

Group 4






Population Birth/Death rate (per 1,000) Growth rate

34.1 million

45.5 million

28 million

5.2 million

6.9 billion






0.8% Petroleum, natural gas, motor vehicles and parts, machinery, chemicals, wood, plastics, fertilizers, pulp, timber $323.4 billion

1.2% Petroleum, coffee, coal, nickel, emeralds, apparel, bananas $34 billion






Main imports

Industrial equipment, Machinery and equipment, motor vehitransportation equipment, cles and parts, crude oil, chemicals, consumer goods, chemielectricity, durable consumer goods cals, paper products, fuel

Petroleum products, machinery and equipment, gold, electrical goods, medicine

Machinery, petroleum products, food

Total worth of imports

$327.2 billion

$3.6 billion

$627 million $12.29 trillion

Main exports Total worth of exports Worth of exports per person


$31.5 billion


2.5% 1.2% Livestock, Clothing, carpets, texsorghum, tiles, juice, jute goods textiles, food $907 million $17 million $12.4 trillion

January 2011 — The Reporter





The Reporter — January 2011

Kigali, Rwanda

Newark, New Jersey

The pill is now one of the most common contracep-

For the government to achieve its targets, it is

tives, used by more than 80 percent of American

important that the rate of population growth is close-

women—and under the new health reform law, it

ly monitored. Rwanda is one of the most densely

may soon be free.

populated countries in Africa, and if the population

A panel of experts will meet in upcoming months to

keeps growing uncontrollably, it will put a strain on

decide whether insurers should be mandated to cover

the country’s resources, therefore, hindering meeting

birth control, as most already do. There shouldn’t be

of the targets that are set out in the government’s

any debate about that.


The cost of the pill—maybe $10 to $50 a month—is

Family planning campaigns should be increased so

middling when compared with the many thousands of

that the sizes of families are manageable and enjoy

dollars spent on prenatal and pediatric care for an

the best possible standard of living. The Rwandan

unintended pregnancy.

people must understand that certain resources, such

We’ve come a long way from more than a century

as land, are limited and have to be shared and man-

ago, when contraceptives were illegal, to today,

aged well, if their lives are to be improved—one of

when—for the first time—all women may have access

the key objectives in the government’s plan.

to free birth control.

—Editorial Excerpt, October 15, 2010

It’s a personal choice, whether or not to use methods like the pill. But it’s to society’s great benefit to make sure every woman has the option. —Editorial Excerpt, November 14, 2010


January 2011 — The Reporter


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January 2011 Reporter  

Demographic security

January 2011 Reporter  

Demographic security