UNFPAState of World Population 2002
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State of World Population
Characterizing Poverty
Macro-economics, Poverty, Population and Development
Women and Gender Inequality
Health and Poverty
HIV/AIDS and Poverty
Poverty and Education
Population, Poverty and Global Development Goals: the Way Ahead
Sources for Boxes
Graphs and Tables


Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8


1 Paes de Barros, R., et al. 2001. "Demographic Changes and Poverty in Brazil." Ch. 11 in: Population Matters: Demographic Change, Economic Growth, and Poverty in the Developing World, edited by N. Birdsall, A. C. Kelley, and S. W. Sinding. 2001. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

2. There are offsetting effects. A larger population contributes to a larger pool of creative resources. Pressure on natural resources and narrowing opportunities can encourage innovation such as new technologies to produce more food or conserve fuel. But investment is needed to exploit the "human resource". These arguments were developed by Julian Simon and others. See especially: Simon, J. 1981. The Ultimate Resource. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

3. The summary that follows is necessarily truncated. More extended discussions of the development of policy and science can be found in a large number of sources. Of particular value are: Bloom, D. E., D. Canning, and J. Sevilla. 2002. Demographic Change and Economic Growth: The Importance of Age Structure. Santa Monica, California: RAND Corporation; Seltzer, J. 2002. The Origins and Evolution of Family Planning Programs in Developing Countries. Santa Monica, California: RAND Corporation; Cassen, R. 1994. Population and Development: Old Debates, New Conclusions. New Brunswick, New Jersey, and Oxford: Transaction Publishers; and Lassonde, L. 1996. Coping with Population Challenges. London: Earthscan Publications.

4. National Research Council. 1986. Population Growth and Economic Development: Policy Questions. Washington D.C.: National Academy Press.

5. Demographers use these ages by convention. In contemporary society the start of employment and formal retirement are both later in life, but the change does not affect the argument.

6. External financial shocks and failure of regulatory frameworks led to the 1997-1998 economic catastrophe. Rapid recovery since then, although held back by continuing external problems, shows the value of the earlier demographic and social changes. The collapse hit the poor hardest and they continue to bear the brunt.

7. Some countries have reached fertility rates of 3 children or lower (e.g., Algeria, Turkey and Lebanon; Iran and Kazakhstan have reached replacement levels around 2.1) but most are higher (many above 4, including Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Sudan, Jordan, Kuwait, Syria and the United Arab Emirates, and several above 5, including, in increasing order, Saudi Arabia, the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Yemen and Oman).

8. See, for example: Pearson, A. 22 May 2002. "Let's Talk about the Facts of Life." London Evening Standard, which asserts that "Britons are on the road to extinction" due to low fertility.

9. A discussion can be found in: UNFPA. 1998. State of World Population 1998: The New Generations, ch. 3. New York: UNFPA.

10. Sachs, J. D., and D. E. Bloom (eds.). 1997. Emerging Asia: Changes and Challenges. Manila: Asian Development Bank.

11. Fears about the decline of housing markets, just to name one example (see: Wattenberg, B. J. 27 November 1997. "The Population Explosion is Over." The New York Times Magazine.), assume that only younger populations at the age of first or early home acquisition can determine the quantity of demand. The market for replacement or upgrading of earlier housing stock can play an increasing role in overall demand.

12. These effects are elaborated in: Eastwood, R., and M. Lipton. 1999."The Impact of Changes in Human Fertility on Poverty." The Journal of Development Studies 36(1): 1-30; and Eastwood, R., and M. Lipton. 2001. "Demographic Transition and Poverty: Effects via Economic Growth, Distribution and Conversion." Ch. 9 in: Birdsall, Kelley, and Sinding 2001.

13. Paes de Barros, et al. 2001.

14. The Millennium Development Goal of poverty reduction is expressed in terms of the incidence (the numbers of the poor), not the severity of poverty (or how poor they are). The effects of the redistribution of income (including those produced by demographic effects that lower wage rates) can markedly affect the incidence of poverty even when they do not alter its severity. If income flows from the near-poor to the rich, the incidence is unchanged but the intensity increases.

15. See: Eastwood and Lipton 1999, p. 13.

16. See citations in: Eastwood and Lipton 2001.

17. Descriptions of effects and citations can be found in: Eastwood and Lipton 2001.

18. This argument is most clearly developed in: Merrick, T. 2001. "Population and Poverty in Households: A Review of Reviews." Ch. 8 in: Birdsall, Kelley, and Sinding 2001.

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