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Secular Literature

In: Other Topics

Submitted By plantsandmore
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Population Trends and Debate


Population growth is really only a recent phenomenon, where the world population

increased from 2.5bn to 6bn in the last 50 years. At present, 75 million people are

being added each year, 97% of which occurs in the developing world (Todaro,

2012). To determine if this has any implication on development, I will talk about

the demographic transition and the context to developing nations, determine how

fertility decisions in the household are made, and finish with three different

arguments regarding a resulting relationship between population growth and



The 19th Century saw a vast improvement in medicine and technology,

fundamentally overseen by European industrialisation. Further still, improvements

in global sanitation and medicinal advancements in the last 50 years means that

human mortality is now lower than at any other point in human existence. These

trends are the result of a demographic transition. Accelerated technological

progress brought about higher income and a demand for human capital, which in

turn led to better education, lower mortality and lower fertility. These effects are

reinforced by an increased opportunity cost for child labour, and women entering

the labour force so as to increase the costs of child rearing.

However, many developing countries are struggling to enter the final stage of the

demographic transition, and are still experiencing high fertility rates. This raises

the question as to whether high fertility is detrimental to development, and

whether there is a relationship between large households and poverty.

Household Decisions

Many of the developing nations have a large youth dependency. Bongaarts et al

have surmised that a growing youth dependency to working-age adults in fact

diminishes per…...

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