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Articles by Category for ‘Population’

Japan: ‘Groundwork needed to stem population decline’

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

‘Groundwork needed to stem population decline’

See: http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0001510864

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.

See: http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0001510864

How can we stop the world from having too many babies? Feed more people

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

How can we stop the world from having too many babies? Feed more people 

See: http://grist.org/food/to-end-population-growth-spread-the-wealth/

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.”

See: http://grist.org/food/to-end-population-growth-spread-the-wealth/

Amid population explosion, birth control access roils the Philippines

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Amid population explosion, birth control access roils the Philippines 

See: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/reproductive-healthphilippines/

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.

See: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/reproductive-healthphilippines/

Cost of Raising Child in U.S. Climbs to $245,340

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Cost of Raising Child in U.S. Climbs to $245,340, Smallest Rise Since 2009 

See: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2014-08-18/cost-of-raising-child-climbs-at-slowest-pace-since-2009#p1

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.

See: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2014-08-18/cost-of-raising-child-climbs-at-slowest-pace-since-2009#p1

Long-Term Answer to Border Crises: Empower Women

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Long-Term Answer to Border Crises: Empower Women 

Border crises flare as government policies neglect inequality, family planning and gender mainstreaming

See: http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/long-term-answer-border-crises-family-planning

 
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.

See: http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/long-term-answer-border-crises-family-planning

Do We Really Need Another Walmart More Than We Need Wildlife?

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Do We Really Need Another Walmart More Than We Need Wildlife? 

See: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stephanie-feldstein/do-we-really-need-another_1_b_5682478.html

It doesn’t get much more David versus Goliath than this: In South Florida endangered butterflies and bats are clinging to the last remaining pine rockland forest habitat where a developer wants to build yet another strip mall, complete with Walmart and Chick-fil-A.

The development — with the shamelessly ironic name of Coral Reef Commons — also includes 900 “high quality” apartments, which could leave rare species like the Florida leafwing butterfly and Bartram’s scrub-hairstreak searching for a new home. Although these two species just gained protection under the Endangered Species Act, their habitat options are rapidly disappearing. Literally. The site for the new Walmart & Friends sits on priceless habitat reduced to just 2 percent of its original size. As if that’s not enough, the butterflies are also threatened by sea-level rise from climate change in other areas of the state.

It doesn’t matter how many solar panels Walmart might add to its new location, Florida’s threatened wildlife needs its habitat far more than it needs yet another development causing more emissions, more traffic, more pollution and more overconsumption.

So, what about humans? Do we really need another Walmart more than we need biodiversity?

See: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stephanie-feldstein/do-we-really-need-another_1_b_5682478.html

Call for Applications, Deadline 8/22/2014

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Call for Applications:

See: http://us4.campaign-archive2.com/?u=302c6990dc3b5cfe595793def&id=b1d248218a&e=7ac8664768

The OASIS Initiative is currently seeking nominations for Fellows and for facilitators for theSahel Leadership Program (PLS). The PLS will be co-hosted by Abdou Moumouni University (UAM) in Niamey, the Higher Institute of Population Sciences (ISSP) based at the University of Ouagadougou (UO) in Burkina Faso and the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS).

The PLS is a unique and visionary program, aiming to catalyze an active and engaged network of development professionals with a common vision for the Sahel. We will recruit approximately 20 emerging leaders in research, policy and development programs from Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso and Chad. The costs of participation will be fully covered by the program. Selected fellows will strengthen their skills in multidisciplinary collaboration while gaining knowledge about the interactions between population, climate and sustainable agriculture, and in the crucial role of girls and women in development.

The success and sustainability of this program depends on you. Please share information about this exciting opportunity with your professional networks, especially with potentially qualified candidates. More information about the program and the application form are available at www.oasisinitiative.org/pls. If you know of any dynamic facilitators whom you would like to recommend with expertise in sustainable agriculture, girls education and empowerment, or family planning, please contact Paige Passano toinfo@oasisinitiative.org.

Battle of perspectives over Africa’s 2050 population boom

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Battle of perspectives over Africa’s 2050 population boom

See: https://www.devex.com/news/battle-of-perspectives-over-africa-s-2050-population-boom-84098

No one doubts that Africa’s population will grow meteorically in the next decades.

The continent is expected to go from being home to 15 percent of the world’s population at present to 25 percent of the global population in 2050. Nevertheless, opinions differ with regard to Africa’s projected growth.

In one camp, Africa has its proponents. From that perspective, Africa is “rising,” “emerging,” and “on the move,” and Africa’s population growth could spell opportunity. In the other camp, analysts tracking African demographics lament the lack of a substantive drop in fertility in east, west, and central Africa. These observers apprehensively speak of Africa’s future infrastructure needs, where the prospects of supporting massive populations look grim.

See: https://www.devex.com/news/battle-of-perspectives-over-africa-s-2050-population-boom-84098

When Fewer is Better

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

When Fewer is Better

See: http://www.project-syndicate.org/print/adair-turner-makes-the-economic-case-for-demographic-stabilization

LONDON – Is a shrinking population always a bad thing? Judging by the lamentations of some economists and policymakers in the advanced economies, where people are living longer and birth rates have fallen below replacement levels, one certainly might think so. In fact, the benefits of demographic stability – or even slight decline – outweigh any adverse effects.

To be sure, an aging population poses obvious challenges for pension systems. And, as economists like Paul Krugman have suggested, it could also mean that advanced economies face not only a slow recovery, but also the danger of “secular stagnation.”

With slower population growth, the need to invest in capital stock diminishes. Meanwhile, people planning for longer retirements may save more to ensure adequate pensions. If these savings exceed investment needs, they could lead to inadequate aggregate demand, depressing economic growth.

But the policy challenges associated with these demographic shifts are manageable. And, perhaps more important, the benefits of increased longevity and reduced fertility are considerable.

Rising life expectancy is the welcome product of medical and economic progress, and additional increases are almost certain. Indeed, the average life expectancy for children born in prosperous countries could soon exceed 100.

See: http://www.project-syndicate.org/print/adair-turner-makes-the-economic-case-for-demographic-stabilization

UNICEF Report: Africa’s Population Could Hit 4 Billion By 2100

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

UNICEF Report: Africa’s Population Could Hit 4 Billion By 2100 

See: http://tpr.org/post/unicef-report-africas-population-could-hit-4-billion-2100

“The future of humanity is increasingly African.”

That’s the prediction in a new UNICEF report, which estimates that by the end of this century, 40 percent of the world’s people will be African – up from 15 percent now. The continent’s population currently sits at roughly 1.2 billion but will soar to more than 4 billion by 2100. Nearly 1 billion will live in Nigeria alone.

In a report released Wednesday, UNICEF projected the growth of Africa’s child population within the next century. And the numbers are staggering.

An estimated 1.8 billion births will take place in Africa in the next 35 years, the authors predict. By 2050, Africa will have almost 1 billion children under 18, making up nearly 40 percent of kids worldwide.

Lead author David Anthony tells NPR’s Melissa Block on All Things Considered that even the researchers were surprised by the findings. “[We] knew that the world’s population was swinging toward Africa,” he says. “But there have been new estimates released by the U.N. population division … that shows an even stronger swing than we have anticipated.”

See: http://tpr.org/post/unicef-report-africas-population-could-hit-4-billion-2100