Africa’s child demographics and the world’s future
Africa’s child demographics and the world’s future
10m Ugandans will be hunting for jobs by 2020
KAMPALA- The number of Ugandans in search for jobs could shoot up to 10 million by 2020, piling more pressure on job creation and attempts at achieving economic equality, according to a World Bank report.
The report titled Jobs: Key to Prosperity published last year made a grim assessment of Uganda’s strides in creating jobs for a major segment of an educated, young and urban population.
“Uganda is facing an increasing challenge to productively employ its fast growing and mainly young, literate and increasingly urban population,” it noted.
The World Bank report is corroborated by a 2013 study by the Labour and Education ministries that discovered that out of the nearly 400,000 graduates produced by training institutions annually, less than 100,000 are able to find jobs.
The country’s population currently estimated to be 34 million will have grown to about 42 million by 2020.
The Effect of Overpopulation on Public Health
The world population is growing at an alarming rate. But overpopulation is seldom discussed as a public health issue. Just how many of us are there and how is our rising population affecting human health?
Economic Abundance With Shrinking Population: Why Not?
Perhaps one of the silliest myths around today, in my opinion, is the notion that a shrinking overall population naturally causes or leads to economic decline. This is gradually becoming more immediately relevant, as the fertility rate is below replacement on every continent except for Africa today.
It’s true that a larger population will have a higher total GDP, simply because you are counting more people. However, you can have a large population with a relatively low per-capita GDP (all of Africa, 1.1 billion), or a small population with a high per-capita GDP (New Zealand, 4.5 million). So, obviously, just piling people together doesn’t create wealth and personal abundance.
As most any economist should know, per-capita incomes – what we usually mean by “wealth” – are largely a factor of productivity. Of course this includes the productivity of the employed, but it also includes productivity within the household or in other nonmonetary realms – the real-life economy, not the “economy” of statistical abstraction.
Exposing the great ‘poverty reduction’ lie
The UN claims that its Millennium Development Campaign has reduced poverty globally, an assertion that is far from true.
The received wisdom comes to us from all directions: Poverty rates are declining and extreme poverty will soon be eradicated. The World Bank, the governments of wealthy countries, and – most importantly – the United Nations Millennium Campaign all agree on this narrative. Relax, they tell us. The world is getting better, thanks to the spread of free market capitalism and western aid. Development is working, and soon, one day in the very near future, poverty will be no more.
It is a comforting story, but unfortunately it is just not true. Poverty is not disappearing as quickly as they say. In fact, according to some measures, poverty has been getting significantly worse. If we are to be serious about eradicating poverty, we need to cut through the sugarcoating and face up to some hard facts.
The most powerful expression of the poverty reduction narrative comes from the UN’s Millennium Campaign. Building on the Millennium Declaration of 2000, the Campaign’s main goal has been to reduce global poverty by half by 2015 – an objective that it proudly claims to have achieved ahead of schedule. But if we look beyond the celebratory rhetoric, it becomes clear that this assertion is deeply misleading.
‘Groundwork needed to stem population decline’
Former Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Hiroya Masuda has long grappled with various issues arising from a continued decline in the nation’s population. In an interview with The Yomiuri Shimbun, Masuda said now is the time for the government to lay the foundation for a long-term fight against Japan’s low birthrate. The following is an excerpt from the interview.
The Yomiuri Shimbun: In May, the Japan Policy Council, a private-sector expert panel that you chair, released its estimates on the population decline. By the end of 2040, the number of women aged 20 to 39 will likely decrease by more than 50 percent in 896 cities, wards, towns and villages nationwide, or about half of the total municipalities, according to the projection. The council said about half of these municipalities could be wiped off the map.
Masuda: Population decline has been a concern of mine since my days as the governor of Iwate (1995-2007). During that time, enormous progress was made in integrating and closing down primary schools in the prefecture. But the process was accompanied by severe negative effects. This was evident in, for example, the difficulty in maintaining local communities that some areas experienced [due to the loss of primary schools].
However, [the consolidation] had to be carried out to accommodate a progressive decline in the number of children. The situation caused me to face a question: What will become of my prefecture in 20 years?
Even before the release of the panel’s estimates, many city, town and village mayors were more or less aware that the population was bound to decrease.
How can we stop the world from having too many babies? Feed more people
Zoom out on the graph of human population until it encompasses the entire timeline of our species and you’ll notice something alarming. It looks like a right angle, with one line hovering near zero for millennia, and another, at present day, headed straight up toward the stratosphere.
Here I sit, on a warm quiet day in my neighborhood, with children playing nearby and a train whistle farther off, living a reasonable, modest life. And yet, at the same time, I, along with you and the rest of us, am plastered against the tip of population rocket powering upward atop megatons of explosive fuel.
That graph comes from Joel Cohen’s 1995 book, How Many People Can the Earth Support? Though it’s now almost 20 years old, it’s still incredibly useful in exploring the conflicting answers to that question, because Cohen never takes sides. He simply (and exhaustively) lays out the arguments, and every shred of data used to support them.
Cohen is still alarmed by that graph. “We are in a completely unprecedented range of experience,” he said. He has a gentle, grandfatherly manner, and speaks slowly, choosing his words one by one. “Population has tripled in my lifetime. It’s changing the world so fast and in so many dimensions that people aren’t aware of the significance.”
Amid population explosion, birth control access roils the Philippines
MARK LITKE: It’s 8 a.m. at the Jose Favella hospital in the Philippine capital, Manila. In the past 12 hours there have been about 40 births, a fairly average night for one of the world’s busiest maternity wards.
DR. SYLVIA DE LA PAZ: As you can see, there’s more patients than there are resources for them.
MARK LITKE: Dr. Silvia de la Paz, the chief obstetrician here, says they manage the crush as best they can. Often putting two beds together as a tandem bed for four mothers and four newborns.
And from these overcrowded hospital wards, out into the teeming slums of the city, it’s easy to see this country is in the midst of a population explosion, what some are calling a crisis. The Philippines today has one of the highest birth rates in Asia with a population that has more than doubled over the last three decades from 45 million to 100 million.
Once the mothers and their newborns leave the maternity hospital, many are going to return to places like, Tondo – this gritty neighborhood right on the edge of Manila. It’s a place where families struggle to get by on $1 or $2 a day at best. Here, very young children scavenge through garbage in search of something to sell for a few dollars to help support their families.
Cost of Raising Child in U.S. Climbs to $245,340, Smallest Rise Since 2009
The cost for a middle-income family to raise a child born last year to age 18 is $245,340, a 1.8 percent increase from the previous year and the smallest jump since the financial crisis, according to the government.
Housing was the largest expense at 30 percent, unchanged from 2012, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today in an annual report that showed wealthier families spend more than twice as much on their children as poorer households. Child care was the second-biggest cost in more affluent homes, while lower-income households spent a greater proportion on food.
Costs have climbed as the need for day care has increased and a recovery in U.S. home prices adds expense. The advance was the smallest since 2009, with inflation in check as health-care costs rise more slowly, jobs are created and the Federal Reserve winds down record economic stimulus.
Long-Term Answer to Border Crises: Empower Women
Border crises flare as government policies neglect inequality, family planning and gender mainstreaming
MEXICO CITY: The United States has a border crisis – with more than 50,000 unaccompanied minors streaming into the country overwhelming the administration. The obvious reasons behind their desperate journey of up to 1,600 miles are well known – fleeing violence, drug crime, poverty and lack of opportunities. But the solutions offered by the US government and politicians are short-term palliatives that do not address the fundamental causes including gender inequality and poor governance.
Most of the minors are fleeing from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, which have high rates of homicide and poverty. The violence threatens livelihoods, and in addition, about 40 percent of the minors coming from these three countries have a parent or family member living in the United States. Regional migratory surges are common when a struggling country has easy access to stronger, more developed economies and a constant onslaught of images touting wealth and comforts. Conflicts emerge when many in the host country fear the sudden influx might precipitate demographic, cultural or security threats. Migrations are more complicated when the influx is composed mostly of unaccompanied minors – a migratory challenge transforms into a humanitarian and moral dilemma.