Correct History

National Security Study Memorandum 200
Part 2

Chapter IV - Economic Development and Population Growth

Rapid population growth adversely affects every aspect of economic and social progress in developing countries. It absorbs large amounts of resources needed for more productive investment in development. It requires greater expenditures for health, education and other social services, particularly in urban areas. It increases the dependency load per worker so that a high fraction of the output of the productive age group is needed to support dependents. It reduces family savings and domestic investment. It increases existing severe pressures on limited agricultural land in countries where the world's "poverty problem" is concentrated. It creates a need for use of large amounts of scarce foreign exchange for food imports (or the loss of food surpluses for export). Finally, it intensifies the already severe unemployment and underemployment problems of many developing countries where not enough productive jobs are created to absorb the annual increments to the labor force.

Even in countries with good resource/population ratios, rapid population growth causes problems for several reasons: First, large capital investments generally are required to exploit unused resources. Second, some countries already have high and growing unemployment and lack the means to train new entrants to their labor force. Third, there are long delays between starting effective family planning programs and reducing fertility, and even longer delays between reductions in fertility and population stabilization. Hence there is substantial danger of vastly overshooting population targets if population growth is not moderated in the near future.

During the past decade, the developing countries have raised their GNP at a rate of 5 percent per annum as against 4.8 percent in developed countries. But at the same time the LDCs experienced an average annual population growth rate of 2.5 percent. Thus their per capita income growth rate was only 2.5 percent and in some of the more highly populated areas the increase in per capita incomes was less than 2 percent. This stands in stark contrast to 3.6 percent in the rich countries. Moreover, the low rate means that there is very little change in those countries whose per capita incomes are $200 or less per annum. The problem has been further exacerbated in recent months by the dramatic increases in oil and fertilizer prices. The World Bank has estimated that the incomes of the 800 million inhabitants of the countries hardest hit by the oil crisis will grow at less than 1% per capita per year of the remainder of the 1970s. Taking account of inequalities in income distribution, there will be well over 500 million people, with average incomes of less than $100 per capita, who will experience either no growth or negative growth in that period.

Moderation of population growth offers benefits in terms of resources saved for investment and/or higher per capita consumption. If resource requirements to support fewer children are reduced and the funds now allocated for construction of schools, houses, hospitals and other essential facilities are invested in productive activities, the impact on the growth of GNP and per capita income may be significant. In addition, economic and social progress resulting from population control will further contribute to the decline in fertility rates. The relationship is reciprocal, and can take the form of either a vicious or a virtuous circle.

This raises the question of how much more efficient expenditures for population control might be than in raising production through direct investments in additional irrigation and power projects and factories. While most economists today do not agree with the assumptions that went into early overly optimistic estimates of returns to population expenditures, there is general agreement that up to the point when cost per acceptor rises rapidly, family planning expenditures are generally considered the best investment a country can make in its own future.

II. Impact of Population Growth on Economic Development

In most, if not all, developing countries high fertility rates impose substantial economic costs and restrain economic growth. The main adverse macroeconomic effects may be analyzed in three general categories: (1) the saving effect, (2) "child quality" versus "child quantity", and (3) "capital deepening" versus "capital widening." These three categories are not mutually exclusive, but they highlight different familial and social perspectives. In addition, there are often longer-run adverse effects on agricultural output and the balance of payments.

(1) The saving effect. A high fertility economy has perforce a larger "burden of dependency" than a low fertility economy, because a larger proportion of the population consists of children too young to work. There are more non-working people to feed, house and rear, and there is a smaller surplus above minimum consumption available for savings and investment. It follows that a lower fertility rate can free resources from consumption; if saved and invested, these resources could contribute to economic growth. (There is much controversy on this; empirical studies of the savings effect have produced varying results.)

(2) Child quality versus quantity. Parents make investment decisions, in a sense, about their children. Healthier and better-educated children tend to be economically more productive, both as children and later as adults. In addition to the more-or-less conscious trade-offs parents can make about more education and better health per child, there are certain biologic adverse effects suffered by high birth order children such as higher mortality and limited brain growth due to higher incidence of malnutrition. It must be emphasized, however, that discussion of trade-offs between child quality and child quantity will probably remain academic with regard to countries where child mortality remains high. When parents cannot expect most children to survive to old age, they probably will continue to "over-compensate", using high fertility as a form of hedge to insure that they will have some living offspring able to support the parents in the distant future.

(3) Capital deepening versus widening. From the family's viewpoint high fertility is likely to reduce welfare per child; for the economy one may view high fertility as too rapid a growth in labor force relative to capital stock. Society's capital stock includes facilities such as schools and other educational inputs in addition to capital investments that raise workers' outputs in agriculture and manufacturing. For any given rate of capital accumulation, a lower population growth rate can help increase the amount of capital and education per worker, helping thereby to increase output and income per capita. The problem of migration to cities and the derived demand for urban infrastructure can also be analyzed as problems of capital widening, which draw resources away from growth-generating investments.

In a number of the more populous countries a fourth aspect of rapid growth in numbers has emerged in recent years which has profound long-run consequences. Agricultural output was able to keep pace or exceed population growth over the many decades of population rise prior to the middle of this century, primarily through steady expansion of acreage under cultivation. More recently, only marginal unused land has been available in India, Thailand, Java, Bangladesh, and other areas. As a result (a) land holdings have declined in size, and (b) land shortage has led to deforestation and overgrazing, with consequent soil erosion and severe water pollution and increased urban migration. Areas that once earned foreign exchange through the export of food surpluses are now in deficit or face early transition to dependence on food imports. Although the scope for raising agricultural productivity is very great in many of these areas, the available technologies for doing so require much higher capital costs per acre and much larger foreign exchange outlays for "modern" inputs (chemical fertilizer, pesticides, petroleum fuels, etc.) than was the case with the traditional technologies. Thus the population growth problem can be seen as an important long-run, or structural, contributor to current LDC balance of payments problems and to deterioration of their basic ecological infrastructure.

Finally, high fertility appears to exacerbate the maldistribution of income which is a fundamental economic and social problem in much of the developing world. Higher income families tend to have fewer children, spend more on the health and education of these children, have more wealth to pass on to these children in contrast to the several disadvantages that face the children of the poor. The latter tend to be more numerous, receiving less of an investment per child in their "human capital", leaving the children with economic, educational and social constraints similar to those which restrict the opportunities of the parents. In short, high fertility contributes to the intergenerational continuity of maldistributions of income and related social and political problems.

III. The Effect of Development on Population Growth

The determinants of population growth are not well understood, especially for low income societies. Historical data show that declining fertility in Europe and North America has been associated with declining mortality and increasing urbanization, and generally with "modernization." Fertility declined substantially in the West without the benefit of sophisticated contraceptives. This movement from high fertility and high mortality to low fertility and low mortality is known as the "demographic transition". In many low income countries mortality has declined markedly since World War II (in large part from reduction in epidemic illness and famine), but fertility has remained high. Apart from a few pockets of low fertility in East Asia and the Caribbean, a significant demographic transition has not occurred in the third world. (The Chinese, however, make remarkable claims about their success in reducing birth rates, and qualified observers are persuaded that they have had unusual success even though specific demographic information is lacking.)

There is considerable, incontestable evidence in many developing countries that a larger (though not fully known) number of couples would like to have fewer children than possible generally there -- and that there is a large unsatisfied demand by these couples for family planning services. It is also now widely believed that something more that family planning services will be needed to motivate other couples to want smaller families and all couples to want replacement levels essential to the progress and growth of their countries.

There is also evidence, although it is not conclusive, that certain aspects of economic development and modernization are more directly related to lowered birth rates than others, and that selective developmental policies may bring about a demographic transition at substantially lower per capita income levels than in Europe, North America, and Japan.13 Such selective policies would focus on improved health care and nutrition directed toward reduced infant and child mortality; universal schooling and adult literacy, especially for women; increasing the legal age of marriage; greater opportunities for female employment in the money economy; improved old-age social security arrangements; and agricultural modernization focussed on small farmers. It is important that this focus be made in development programs because, given today's high population densities, high birth rates, and low income levels in much of Asia, Africa, and Latin America, if the demographic transition has to await overall development and modernization, the vicious circle of poverty, people, and unemployment may never be broken.

The causes of high birth rates in low income societies are generally explained in terms of three factors:

a. Inadequacy of information and means. Actual family size in many societies is higher than desired family size owing to ignorance of acceptable birth control methods or unavailability of birth control devices and services. The importance of this factor is evidenced by many sociological investigations on "desired family size" versus actual size, and by the substantial rates of acceptance for contraceptives when systematic family planning services are introduced. This factor has been a basic assumption in the family planning programs of official bilateral and multilateral programs in many countries over the past decade. Whatever the actual weight of this factor, which clearly varies from country to country and which shifts with changes in economic and social conditions, there remains without question a significant demand for family planning services.

b. Inadequacy of motivation for reduced numbers of children. Especially in the rural areas of underdeveloped countries, which account for the major share of today's population growth, parents often want large numbers of children (especially boys) (i) to ensure that some will survive against the odds of high child mortality, (ii) to provide support for the parents in their old age, and (iii) to provide low cost farm labor. While these elements are present among rural populace, continued urbanization may reduce the need for sons in the longer term. The absence of educational and employment opportunities for young women intensifies these same motivations by encouraging early marriage and early and frequent maternity. This factor suggests the crucial importance of selective development policies as a means of accelerating the reduction of fertility.

c. The "time lag". Family preferences and social institutions that favor high fertility change slowly. Even though mortality and economic conditions have improved significantly since World War II in LDCs, family expectations, social norms, and parental practice are slow to respond to these altered conditions. This factor leads to the need for large scale programs of information, education, and persuasion directed at lower fertility.

The three elements are undoubtedly intermixed in varying proportions in all underdeveloped countries with high birth rates. In most LDCs, many couples would reduce their completed family size if appropriate birth control methods were more easily available. The extent of this reduction, however, may still leave their completed family size at higher than mere replacement levels -- i.e., at levels implying continued but less rapid population growth. Many other couples would not reduce their desired family size merely if better contraceptives were available, either because they see large families as economically beneficial, or because of cultural factors, or because they misread their own economic interests.

Therefore, family planning supply (contraceptive technology and delivery systems) and demand (the motivation for reduced fertility) would not be viewed as mutually exclusive alternatives; they are complementary and may be mutually reinforcing. The selected point of focus mentioned earlier -- old age security programs, maternal and child health programs, increased female education, increasing the legal age of marriage, financial incentives to "acceptors", personnel, -- are important, yet better information is required as to which measures are most cost-effective and feasible in a given situation and how their cost-effectiveness compares to supply programs.

One additional interesting area is receiving increasing attention: the distribution of the benefits of development. Experience in several countries suggests that the extent to which the poor, with the highest fertility rates, reduce their fertility will depend on the extent to which they participate in development. In this view the average level of economic development and the average amount of modernization are less important determinants of population growth than is the specific structure of development. This line of investigation suggests that social development activities need to be more precisely targeted than in the past to reach the lowest income people, to counteract their desire for high fertility as a means of alleviating certain adverse conditions.

IV. Employment and Social Problems

Employment, aside from its role in production of goods and services, is an important source of income and of status or recognition to workers and their families. The inability of large segments of the economically active population in developing countries to find jobs offering a minimum acceptable standard of living is reflected in a widening of income disparities and a deepening sense of economic, political and social frustration.

The most economically significant employment problems in LDCs contributed to by excessive population growth are low worker productivity in production of traditional goods and services produced, the changing aspirations of the work force, the existing distribution of income, wealth and power, and the natural resource endowment of a country.

The political and social problems of urban overcrowding are directly related to population growth. In addition to the still-high fertility in urban areas of many LDC's, population pressures on the land, which increases migration to the cities, adds to the pressures on urban job markets and political stability, and strains, the capacity to provide schools, health facilities, and water supplies.

It should be recognized that lower fertility will relieve only a portion of these strains and that its most beneficial effects will be felt only over a period of decades. Most of the potential migrants from countryside to city over the coming 15 to 20 years have already been born. Lower birth rates do provide some immediate relief to health and sanitation and welfare services, and medium-term relief to pressures on educational systems. The largest effects on employment, migration, and living standards, however, will be felt only after 25 or 30 years. The time lags inherent in all aspects of population dynamics only reinforce the urgency of adopting effective policies in the years immediately ahead if the formidable problems of the present decade are not to become utterly unmanageable in the 1990s and beyond the year 2000.

Chapter V -- Implications of Population Pressures for National Security

It seems well understood that the impact of population factors on the subjects already considered -- development, food requirements, resources, environment -- adversely affects the welfare and progress of countries in which we have a friendly interest and thus indirectly adversely affects broad U.S. interests as well.

The effects of population factors on the political stability of these countries and their implications for internal and international order or disorder, destructive social unrest, violence and disruptive foreign activities are less well understood and need more analysis. Nevertheless, some strategists and experts believe that these effects may ultimately be the most important of those arising from population factors, most harmful to the countries where they occur and seriously affecting U.S. interests. Other experts within the U.S. Government disagree with this conclusion.

A recent study14 of forty-five local conflicts involving Third World countries examined the ways in which population factors affect the initiation and course of a conflict in different situations. The study reached two major conclusions:

1. ". . . population factors are indeed critical in, and often determinants of, violent conflict in developing areas. Segmental (religious, social, racial) differences, migration, rapid population growth, differential levels of knowledge and skills, rural/urban differences, population pressure and the spacial location of population in relation to resources -- in this rough order of importance -- all appear to be important contributions to conflict and violence...

2. Clearly, conflicts which are regarded in primarily political terms often have demographic roots: Recognition of these relationships appears crucial to any understanding or prevention of such hostilities."

It does not appear that the population factors act alone or, often, directly to cause the disruptive effects. They act through intervening elements -- variables. They also add to other causative factors turning what might have been only a difficult situation into one with disruptive results.

This action is seldom simple. Professor Philip Hauser of the University of Chicago has suggested the concept of "population complosion" to describe the situation in many developing countries when (a) more and more people are born into or move into and are compressed in the same living space under (b) conditions and irritations of different races, colors, religions, languages, or cultural backgrounds, often with differential rates of population growth among these groups, and (c) with the frustrations of failure to achieve their aspirations for better standards of living for themselves or their children. To these may be added pressures for and actual international migration. These population factors appear to have a multiplying effect on other factors involved in situations of incipient violence. Population density, the "overpopulation" most often thought of in this connection, is much less important.

These population factors contribute to socio-economic variables including breakdowns in social structures, underemployment and unemployment, poverty, deprived people in city slums, lowered opportunities for education for the masses, few job opportunities for those who do obtain education, interracial, religious, and regional rivalries, and sharply increased financial, planning, and administrative burdens on governmental systems at all levels.

These adverse conditions appear to contribute frequently to harmful developments of a political nature: Juvenile delinquency, thievery and other crimes, organized brigandry, kidnapping and terrorism, food riots, other outbreaks of violence; guerilla warfare, communal violence, separatist movements, revolutionary movements and counter-revolutionary coups. All of these bear upon the weakening or collapse of local, state, or national government functions.

Beyond national boundaries, population factors appear to have had operative roles in some past politically disturbing legal or illegal mass migrations, border incidents, and wars. If current increased population pressures continue they may have greater potential for future disruption in foreign relations.

Perhaps most important, in the last decade population factors have impacted more severely than before on availabilities of agricultural land and resources, industrialization, pollution and the environment. All this is occurring at a time when international communications have created rising expectations which are being frustrated by slow development and inequalities of distribution.

Since population factors work with other factors and act through intervening linkages, research as to their effects of a political nature is difficult and "proof" even more so. This does not mean, however, that the causality does not exist. It means only that U.S. policy decisions must take into account the less precise and programmatic character of our knowledge of these linkages.

Although general hypotheses are hard to draw, some seem reasonably sustainable:

1. Population growth and inadequate resources. Where population size is greater than available resources, or is expanding more rapidly than the available resources, there is a tendency toward internal disorders and violence and, sometimes, disruptive international policies or violence. The higher the rate of growth, the more salient a factor population increase appears to be. A sense of increasing crowding, real or perceived, seems to generate such tendencies, especially if it seems to thwart obtaining desired personal or national goals.

2. Populations with a high proportion of growth. The young people, who are in much higher proportions in many LDCs, are likely to be more volatile, unstable, prone to extremes, alienation and violence than an older population. These young people can more readily be persuaded to attack the legal institutions of the government or real property of the "establishment," "imperialists," multinational corporations, or other -- often foreign -- influences blamed for their troubles.

3. Population factors with social cleavages. When adverse population factors of growth, movement, density, excess, or pressure coincide with racial, religious, color, linguistic, cultural, or other social cleavages, there will develop the most potentially explosive situations for internal disorder, perhaps with external effects. When such factors exist together with the reality or sense of relative deprivation among different groups within the same country or in relation to other countries or peoples, the probability of violence increases significantly.

4. Population movements and international migrations. Population movements within countries appear to have a large role in disorders. Migrations into neighboring countries (especially those richer or more sparsely settled), whether legal or illegal, can provoke negative political reactions or force.

There may be increased propensities for violence arising simply from technological developments making it easier -- e.g., international proliferation and more ready accessibility to sub-national groups of nuclear and other lethal weaponry. These possibilities make the disruptive population factors discussed above even more dangerous.

Some Effects of Current Population Pressures

In the 1960s and 1970s, there have been a series of episodes in which population factors have apparently had a role -- directly or indirectly -- affecting countries in which we have an interest.

El Salvador-Honduras War. An example was the 1969 war between El Salvador and Honduras. Dubbed the "Soccer War", it was sparked by a riot during a soccer match, its underlying cause was tension resulting from the large scale migration of Salvadorans from their rapidly growing, densely populated country to relatively uninhabited areas of Honduras. The Hondurans resented the presence of migrants and in 1969 began to enforce an already extant land tenancy law to expel them. El Salvador was angered by the treatment given its citizens. Flaring tempers on both sides over this issue created a situation which ultimately led to a military clash.

Nigeria. The Nigerian civil war seriously retarded the progress of Africa's most populous nations and caused political repercussions and pressures in the United States. It was fundamentally a matter of tribal relationships. Irritations among the tribes caused in part by rapidly increasing numbers of people, in a situation of inadequate opportunity for most of them, magnified the tribal issues and may have helped precipitate the war. The migration of the Ibos from Eastern Nigeria, looking for employment, led to competition with local peoples of other tribes and contributed to tribal rioting. This unstable situation was intensified by the fact that in the 1963 population census returns were falsified to inflate the Western region's population and hence its representation in the Federal Government. The Ibos of the Eastern region, with the oil resources of the country, felt their resources would be unjustly drawn on and attempted to establish their independence.

Pakistan-India-Bangladesh 1970-71. This religious and nationalistic conflict contains several points where a population factor at a crucial time may have had a causal effect in turning events away from peaceful solutions to violence. The Central Government in West Pakistan resorted to military suppression of the East Wing after the election in which the Awami League had an overwhelming victory in East Pakistan. This election had followed two sets of circumstances. The first was a growing discontent in East Pakistan at the slow rate of economic and social progress being made and the Bengali feeling that West Pakistan was dealing unequally and unfairly with East Pakistan in the distribution of national revenues. The first population factor was the 75 million Bengalis whom the 45 million West Pakistanis sought to continue to dominate. Some observers believe that as a recent population factor the rapid rate of population growth in East Pakistan seriously diminished the per capita improvement from the revenues made available and contributed significantly to the discontent. A special aspect of the population explosion in East Pakistan (second population factor) was the fact that the dense occupation of all good agricultural land forced hundreds of thousands of people to move into the obviously unsafe lowlands along the southern coast. They became victims of the hurricane in 1970. An estimated 300,000 died. The Government was unable to deal with a disaster affecting so many people. The leaders and people of East Pakistan reacted vigorously to this failure of the Government to bring help.

It seems quite likely that these situations in which population factors played an important role led to the overwhelming victory of the Awami League that led the Government to resort to force in East Pakistan with the massacres and rapes that followed. Other experts believe the effects of the latter two factors were of marginal influence in the Awami League's victory.

It further seems possible that much of the violence was stimulated or magnified by population pressures. Two groups of Moslems had been competing for jobs and land in East Bengal since the 1947 partition. "Biharis" are a small minority of non-Bengali Moslems who chose to resettle in East Pakistan at that time. Their integration into Bengali society was undoubtedly inhibited by the deteriorating living conditions of the majority Bengalis. With the Pakistan army crackdown in March, 1971, the Biharis cooperated with the authorities, and reportedly were able thereby to improve their economic conditions at the expense of the persecuted Bengalis. When the tables were turned after independence, it was the Biharis who were persecuted and whose property and jobs were seized. It seems likely that both these outbursts of violence were induced or enlarged by the population "complosion" factor.

The violence in East Pakistan against the Bengalis and particularly the Hindu minority who bore the brunt of Army repression led to the next population factor, the mass migration during one year of nine or ten million refugees into West Bengal in India. This placed a tremendous burden on the already weak Indian economy. As one Indian leader in the India Family Planning Program said, "The influx of nine million people wiped out the savings of some nine million births which had been averted over a period of eight years of the family planning program."

There were other factors in India's invasion of East Bengal, but it is possible that the necessity of returning these nine or ten million refugees to east Bengal -- getting them out of India -- may have played a part in the Indian decision to invade. Certainly, in a broader sense, the threat posed by this serious, spreading instability on India's eastern frontier -- an instability in which population factors were a major underlying cause -- a key reason for the Indian decision.

The political arrangements in the Subcontinent have changed, but all of the underlying population factors which influenced the dramatic acts of violence that took place in 1970-71 still exist, in worsening dimensions, to influence future events.

Additional illustrations. Population factors also appear to have had indirect causal relations, in varying degrees, on the killings in Indonesia in 1965-6, the communal slaughter in Rwanda in 1961-2 and 1963-4 and in Burundi in 1972, the coup in Uganda in 1972, and the insurrection in Sri Lanka in 1971.

Some Potential Effects of Future Population Pressures

Between the end of World War II and 1975 the world's population will have increased about one and a half billion -- nearly one billion of that from 1960 to the present. The rate of growth is increasing and between two and a half and three and a half billion will be added by the year 2000, depending partly on the effectiveness of population growth control programs. This increase of the next 25 years will, of course, pyramid on the great number added with such rapidity in the last 25. The population factors which contributed to the political pressures and instabilities of the last decades will be multiplied.

PRC - The demographic factors of the PRC are referred to on page 79 above. The Government of the PRC has made a major effort to feed its growing population.

Cultivated farm land, at 107 million hectares, has not increased significantly over the past 25 years, although farm output has substantially kept pace with population growth through improved yields secured by land improvement, irrigation extension, intensified cropping, and rapid expansion in the supply of fertilizers.

In 1973 the PRC adopted new, forceful population control measures. In the urban areas Peking claimed its birth control measures had secured a two-child family and a one percent annual population growth, and it proposes to extend this development throughout the rural areas by 1980.

The political implications of China's future population growth are obviously important but are not dealt with here.

Israel and the Arab States. If a peace settlement can be reached, the central issue will be how to make it last. Egypt with about 37 million today is growing at 2.8% per year. It will approximate 48 million by 1985, 75 million by 1995, and more than 85 million by 2000. It is doubtful that Egypt's economic progress can greatly exceed its population growth. With Israel starting at today's population of 3.3 million, the disparity between its population and those of the Arab States will rapidly increase. Inside Israel, unless Jewish immigration continues, the gap between the size of the Arab and Jewish populations will diminish. Together with the traditional animosities -- which will remain the prime determinants of Arab-Israeli conflict -- these population factors make the potential for peace and for U.S. interests in the area ominous.

India-Bangladesh. The Subcontinent will be for years the major focus of world concern over population growth. India's population is now approximately 580 million, adding a million by each full moon. Embassy New Delhi (New Delhi 2115, June 17, 1974) reports:

"There seems no way of turning off the faucet this side of 1 billion Indians, which means India must continue to court economic and social disaster. It is not clear how the shaky and slow-growing Indian economy can bear the enormous expenditures on health, housing, employment, and education, which must be made if the society is even to maintain its current low levels."

Death rates have recently increased in parts of India and episodes like the recent smallpox epidemic have led Embassy New Delhi to add:

"A future failure of the India food crop could cause widespread death and suffering which could not be overcome by the GOI or foreign assistance. The rise in the death rate in several rural areas suggests that Malthusian pressures are already being felt."

And further:

"Increasing political disturbances should be expected in the future, fed by the pressures of rising population in urban areas, food shortages, and growing scarcities in household commodities. The GOI has not been very successful in alleviating unemployment in the cities. The recent disturbances in Gujarat and Bihar seem to be only the beginning of chronic and serious political disorders occurring throughout India."

There will probably be a weakening, possibly a breakdown, of the control of the central government over some of the states and local areas. The democratic system will be taxed and may be in danger of giving way to a form of dictatorship, benevolent or otherwise. The existence of India as a democratic buttress in Asia will be threatened.

Bangladesh, with appalling population density, rapid population growth, and extensive poverty will suffer even more. Its population has increased 40% since the census 13 years ago and is growing at least 3% per year. The present 75 million, or so, unless slowed by famine, disease, or massive birth control, will double in 23 years and exceed 170 million by 2000.

Requirements for food and other basic necessities of life are growing at a faster rate than existing resources and administrative systems are providing them. In the rural areas, the size of the average farm is being reduced and there is increasing landlessness. More and more people are migrating to urban areas. The government admits a 30% rate of unemployment and underemployment. Already, Embassy Dacca reports (Dacca 3424, June 19, 1974) there are important economic-population causes for the landlessness that is rapidly increasing and contributing to violent crimes of murder and armed robbery that terrorize the ordinary citizen.

"Some of the vast army of unemployed and landless, and those strapped by the escalating cost of basic commodities, have doubtless turned to crime."

Three paragraphs of Embassy Dacca's report sharply outline the effect on U.S. political interests we may anticipate from population factors in Bangladesh and other countries that, if present trends are not changed, will be in conditions similar to Bangladesh in only a few years.

"Of concern to the U.S. are several probable outcomes as the basic political, economic and social situation worsens over the coming decades. Already afflicted with a crisis mentality by which they look to wealthy foreign countries to shore up their faltering economy, the BDG will continue to escalate its demands on the U.S. both bilaterally and internationally to enlarge its assistance, both of commodities and financing. Bangladesh is now a fairly solid supporter of third world positions, advocating better distribution of the world's wealth and extensive trade concessions to poor nations. As its problems grow and its ability to gain assistance fails to keep pace, Bangladesh's positions on international issues likely will become radicalized, inevitably in opposition to U.S. interests on major issues as it seeks to align itself with others to force adequate aid.

"U.S. interests in Bangladesh center on the development of an economically and politically stable country which will not threaten the stability of its neighbors in the Subcontinent nor invite the intrusion of outside powers. Surrounded on three sides by India and sharing a short border with Burma, Bangladesh, if it descends into chaos, will threaten the stability of these nations as well. Already Bengalis are illegally migrating into the frontier provinces of Assam and Tripura, politically sensitive areas of India, and into adjacent Burma. Should expanded out-migration and socio-political collapse in Bangladesh threaten its own stability, India may be forced to consider intervention, although it is difficult to see in what way the Indians could cope with the situation.

"Bangladesh is a case study of the effects of few resources and burgeoning population not only on national and regional stability but also on the future world order. In a sense, if we and other richer elements of the world community do not meet the test of formulating a policy to help Bangladesh awaken from its economic and demographic nightmare, we will not be prepared in future decades to deal with the consequences of similar problems in other countries which have far more political and economic consequences to U.S. interests."

Africa -- Sahel Countries. The current tragedy of the Sahel countries, to which U.S. aid in past years has been minimal, has suddenly cost us an immense effort in food supplies at a time when we are already hard pressed to supply other countries, and domestic food prices are causing strong political repercussions in the U.S. The costs to us and other donor countries for aid to help restore the devastated land will run into hundreds of millions. Yet little attention is given to the fact that even before the adverse effect of the continued drought, it was population growth and added migration of herdsmen to the edge of the desert that led to cutting the trees and cropping the grass, inviting the desert to sweep forward. Control of population growth and migration must be a part of any program for improvement of lasting value.

Panama. The troublesome problem of jurisdiction over the Canal Zone is primarily due to Panamanian feelings of national pride and a desire to achieve sovereignty over its entire territory. One Panamanian agreement in pursuing its treaty goals is that U.S. control over the Canal Zone prevents the natural expansion of Panama City, an expansion needed as a result of demographic pressures. In 1908, at the time of the construction of the Canal, the population of the Zone was about 40,000. Today it is close to the same figure, 45,000. On the other hand, Panama City, which had some 20,000 people in 1908, has received growing migration from rural areas and now has over 500,000. A new treaty which would give Panama jurisdiction over land now in the Zone would help alleviate the problems caused by this growth of Panama City.

Mexico and the U.S. Closest to home, the combined population growth of Mexico and the U.S. Southwest presages major difficulties for the future. Mexico's population is growing at some 3.5% per year and will double in 20 years with concomitant increases in demands for food, housing, education, and employment. By 1995, the present 57 million will have increased to some 115 million and, unless their recently established family planning program has great success, by 2000 will exceed 130 million. More important, the numbers of young people entering the job market each year will expand even more quickly. These growing numbers will increase the pressure of illegal emigration to the U.S., and make the issue an even more serious source of friction in our political relations with Mexico.

On our side, the Bureau of the Census estimates that as more and more Americans move to the Southwestern States the present 40,000,000 population may approximate 61,000,000 by 1995. The domestic use of Colorado River water may again have increased the salinity level in Mexico and reopened that political issue.

Amembassy Mexico City (Mexico 4953, June 14, 1974) summarized the influences of population factors on U.S. interests as follows:

"An indefinite continuation of Mexico's high population growth rate would increasingly act as a brake on economic (and social) improvement. The consequences would be noted in various ways. Mexico could well take more radical positions in the international scene. Illegal migration to the U.S. would increase. In a country where unemployment and under-employment is already high, the entry of increasing numbers into the work force would only intensify the pressure to seek employment in the U.S. by whatever means. Yet another consequence would be increased demand for food imports from the U.S., especially if the rate of growth of agricultural production continues to lag behind the population growth rate. Finally, one cannot dismiss the spectre of future domestic instability as a long term consequence, should the economy, now strong, falter."

UNCTAD, the Special UNGA, and the UN. The developing countries, after several years of unorganized maneuvering and erratic attacks have now formed tight groupings in the Special Committee for Latin American Coordination, the Organization of African States, and the Seventy-Seven. As illustrated in the Declaration of Santiago and the recent Special General Assembly, these groupings at times appear to reflect a common desire to launch economic attacks against the United States and, to a lesser degree, the European developed countries. A factor which is common to all of them, which retards their development, burdens their foreign exchange, subjects them to world prices for food, fertilizer, and necessities of life and pushes them into disadvantageous trade relations is their excessively rapid population growth. Until they are able to overcome this problem, it is likely that their manifestations of antagonism toward the United States in international bodies will increase. Global Factors

In industrial nations, population growth increases demand for industrial output. This over time tends to deplete national raw materials resources and calls increasingly on sources of marginal profitability and foreign supplies. To obtain raw materials, industrial nations seek to locate and develop external sources of supply. The potential for collisions of interest among the developing countries is obvious and has already begun. It is visible and vexing in claims for territorial waters and national sovereignty over mineral resources. It may become intense in rivalries over exploring and exploiting the resources of the ocean floor.

In developing countries, the burden of population factors, added to others, will weaken unstable governments, often only marginally effective in good times, and open the way for extremist regimes. Countries suffering under such burdens will be more susceptible to radicalization. Their vulnerability also might invite foreign intervention by stronger nations bent on acquiring political and economic advantage. The tensions within the Have-not nations are likely to intensify, and the conflicts between them and the Haves may escalate.

Past experience gives little assistance to predicting the course of these developments because the speed of today's population growth, migrations, and urbanization far exceeds anything the world has seen before. Moreover, the consequences of such population factors can no longer be evaded by moving to new hunting or grazing lands, by conquering new territory, by discovering or colonizing new continents, or by emigration in large numbers.

The world has ample warning that we all must make more rapid efforts at social and economic development to avoid or mitigate these gloomy prospects. We should be warned also that we all must move as rapidly as possible toward stabilizing national and world population growth.


From the standpoint of policy and program, the focal point of the World Population Conference (WPC) at Bucharest, Romania, in August 1974, was the World Population Plan of Action (WPPA). The U.S. had contributed many substantive points to the draft Plan. We had particularly emphasized the incorporation of population factors in national planning of developing countries' population programs for assuring the availability of means of family planning to persons of reproductive age, voluntary but specific goals for the reduction of population growth and time frames for action.

As the WPPA reached the WPC it was organized as a demographic document. It also related population factors to family welfare, social and economic development, and fertility reduction. Population policies and programs were recognized as an essential element, but only one element of economic and social development programs. The sovereignty of nations in determining their own population policies and programs was repeatedly recognized. The general impression after five regional consultative meetings on the Plan was that it had general support.

There was general consternation, therefore, when at the beginning of the conference the Plan was subjected to a slashing, five-pronged attack led by Algeria, with the backing of several African countries; Argentina, supported by Uruguay, Brazil, Peru and, more limitedly, some other Latin American countries; the Eastern European group (less Romania); the PRC and the Holy See. Although the attacks were not identical, they embraced three central elements relevant to U.S. policy and action in this field:

1.Repeated references to the importance (or as some said, the pre-condition) of economic and social development for the reduction of high fertility. Led by Algeria and Argentina, many emphasized the "new international economic order" as central to economic and social development.

2.Efforts to reduce the references to population programs, minimize their importance and delete all references to quantitative or time goals.

3.Additional references to national sovereignty in setting population policies and programs.

The Plan of Action

Despite the initial attack and continuing efforts to change the conceptual basis of the world Population Plan of Action, the Conference adopted by acclamation (only the Holy See stating a general reservation) a complete World Population Plan of Action. It is less urgent in tone than the draft submitted by the U.N. Secretariat but in several ways more complete and with greater potential than that draft. The final action followed a vigorous debate with hotly contested positions and forty-seven votes. Nevertheless, there was general satisfaction among the participants at the success of their efforts.

a. Principles and Aims

The Plan of Action lays down several important principles, some for the first time in a U.N. document.

1. Among the first-time statements is the assertion that the sovereign right of each nation to set its own population policies is "to be exercised ... taking into account universal solidarity in order to improve the quality of life of the peoples of the world." (Para 13) This new provision opens the way toward increasing responsibility by nations toward other nations in establishing their national population policies.

2. The conceptual relationship between population and development is stated in Para 13(c):

Population and development are interrelated: population variables influence development variables and are also influenced by them; the formulation of a World Population Plan of Action reflects the international community's awareness of the importance of population trends for socio-economic development, and the socio-economic nature of the recommendations contained in this Plan of Action reflects its awareness of the crucial role that development plays in affecting population trends.

3. A basic right of couples and individuals is recognized by Para 13(f), for the first time in a single declarative sentence:

All couples and individuals have the basic human right to decide freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children and to have the information, education and means to do so;

4. Also for the first time, a U.N. document links the responsibility of child-bearers to the community [Para 13(f) continued]:

The responsibility of couples and individuals in the exercise of this right takes into account the needs of their living and future children, and their responsibilities towards the community.

It is now possible to build on this newly-stated principle as the right of couples first recognized in the Tehran Human Rights Declaration of 1968 has been built on.

5. A flat declaration of the right of women is included in Para 13(h):

Women have the right to complete integration in the development process particularly by means of an equal participation in educational, social, economic, cultural and political life. In addition, the necessary measures should be taken to facilitate this integration with family responsibilities which should be fully shared by both partners.

6. The need for international action is accepted in Para 13(k):

The growing interdependence of countries makes the adoption of measures at the international level increasingly important for the solution of problems of development and population problems.

7. The "primary aim" of the Plan of Action is asserted to be "to expand and deepen the capacities of countries to deal effectively with their national and subnational population problems and to promote an appropriate international response to their needs by increasing international activity in research, the exchange of information, and the provision of assistance on request."

b. Recommendations

The Plan of Action includes recommendations for: population goals and policies; population growth; mortality and morbidity; reproduction; family formation and the status of women; population distribution and internal migration; international migration; population structure; socio-economic policies; data collection and analysis; research; development and evolution of population policies; the role of national governments and of international cooperation; and monitoring, review and appraisal.

A score of these recommendations are the most important:

1. Governments should integrate population measures and programs into comprehensive social and economic plans and programs and their integration should be reflected in the goals, instrumentalities and organizations for planning within the countries. A unit dealing with population aspects should be created and placed at a high level of the national administrative structure. (Para 94)

2. Countries which consider their population growth hampers attainment of their goals should consider adopting population policies -- through a low level of birth and death rates. (Para 17, 18)

3. Highest priority should be given to reduction in mortality and morbidity and increase of life expectancy and programs for this purpose should reach rural areas and underprivileged groups. (Para 20-25)

4. Countries are urged to encourage appropriate education concerning responsible parenthood and make available to persons who so desire advice and means of achieving it. [Para 29(b)]

5. Family planning and related services should aim at prevention of unwanted pregnancies and also at elimination of involuntary sterility or subfecundity to enable couples to achieve their desired number of children. [Para 29 (c)]

6. Adequately trained auxiliary personnel, social workers and non-government channels should be used to help provide family planning services. [Para 29(e)]

7. Governments with family planning programs should consider coordinating them with health and other services designed to raise the quality of life.

8. Countries wishing to affect fertility levels should give priority to development programs and health and education strategies which have a decisive effect upon demographic trends, including fertility. [Para 31] International cooperation should give priority to assisting such national efforts. Such programs may include reduction in infant and child mortality, increased education, particularly for females, improvement in the status of women, land reform and support in old age. [Para 32]

9. Countries which consider their birth rates detrimental to their national purposes are invited to set quantitative goals and implement policies to achieve them by 1985. [Para 37]

10. Developed countries are urged to develop appropriate policies in population, consumption and investment, bearing in mind the need for fundamental improvement in international equity.

11. Because the family is the basic unit of society, governments should assist families as far as possible through legislation and services. [Para 39]

12. Governments should ensure full participation of women in the educational, economic, social and political life of their countries on an equal basis with men. [Para 40] (A new provision, added at Bucharest.)

13. A series of recommendations are made to stabilize migration within countries, particularly policies to reduce the undesirable consequences of excessively rapid urbanization and to develop opportunities in rural areas and small towns, recognizing the right of individuals to move freely within their national boundaries. [Para 44-50]

14. Agreements should be concluded to regulate the international migration of workers and to assure non-discriminatory treatment and social services for these workers and their families; also other measures to decrease the brain drain from developing countries. [Para 51-62]

15. To assure needed information concerning population trends, population censuses should be taken at regular intervals and information concerning births and deaths be made available at least annually. [Para 72-77]

16. Research should be intensified to develop knowledge concerning the social, economic and political interrelationships with population trends; effective means of reducing infant and childhood mortality; methods for integrating population goals into national plans, means of improving the motivation of people, analysis of population policies in relation to socio-economic development, laws and institution; methods of fertility regulation to meet the varied requirement of individuals and communities, including methods requiring no medical supervision; the interrelations of health, nutrition and reproductive biology; and utilization of social services, including family planning services. [Para 78-80]

17. Training of management on population dynamics and administration, on an interdisciplinary basis, should be provided for medical, paramedical, traditional health personnel, program administrators, senior government officials, labor, community and social leaders. Education and information programs should be undertaken to bring population information to all areas of countries. [Paras 81-92]

18. An important role of governments is to determine and assess the population problems and needs of their countries in the light of their political, social, cultural, religious and economic conditions; such an undertaking should be carried out systematically and periodically so as to provide informed, rational and dynamic decision-making in matters of population and development. [Para 97]

20. The Plan of Action should be closely coordinated with the International Development Strategy for the Second United Nations Development Decade, reviewed in depth at five year intervals, and modified as appropriate. [Paras 106-108]

The Plan of Action hedges in presenting specific statements of quantitative goals or a time frame for the reduction of fertility. These concepts are included, however, in the combination of Paras 16 and 36, together with goals [Para 37] and the review [Para 106]. Para 16 states that, according to the U.N low variant projections, it is estimated that as a result of social and economic development and population policies as reported by countries in the Second United Nations Inquiry on Population and Development, population growth rates in the developing countries as a whole may decline from the present level of 2.4% per annum to about 2% by 1985; and below 0.7% per annum in the developed countries. In this case the worldwide rate of population growth would decline from 2% to about 1.7%. Para 36 says that these projections and those for mortality decline are consistent with declines in the birth rate of the developing countries as a whole from the present level of 38 per thousand to 30 per thousand by 1985. Para 36 goes on to say that "To achieve by 1985 these levels of fertility would require substantial national efforts, by those countries concerned, in the field of socio-economic development and population policies, supported, upon request, by adequate international assistance." Para 37 then follows with the statement that countries which consider their birth rates detrimental to their national purposes are invited to consider setting quantitative goals and implementing policies that may lead to the attainment of such goals by 1985. Para 106 recommends a comprehensive review and appraisal of population trends and policies discussed in the Plan of Action should be undertaken every five years and modified, wherever needed, by ECOSOC.

Usefulness of the Plan of Action

The World Population Plan of Action, despite its wordiness and often hesitant tone, contains all the necessary provisions for effective population growth control programs at national and international levels. It lacks only plain statements of quantitative goals with time frames for their accomplishment. These will have to be added by individual national action and development as rapidly as possible in further U.N. documents. The basis for suitable goals exists in paragraphs 16, 36, 37, and 106, referred to above. The U.N. low variant projection used in these paragraphs is close to the goals proposed by the United States and other ECAFE nations: The dangerous situation evidenced by the current food situation and projections for the future make it essential to press for the realization of these goals. The beliefs, ideologies and misconceptions displayed by many nations at Bucharest indicate more forcefully than ever the need for extensive education of the leaders of many governments, especially in Africa and some in Latin America. Approaches leaders of individual countries must be designed in the light of their current beliefs and to meet their special concerns. These might include:

1. Projections of population growth individualized for countries and with analyses of relations of population factors to social and economic development of each country.

2. Familiarization programs at U.N. Headquarters in New York for ministers of governments, senior policy level officials and comparably influential leaders from private life.

3. Greatly increased training programs for senior officials in the elements of demographic economics.

4. Assistance in integrating population factors in national plans, particularly as they relate to health services, education, agricultural resources and development, employment, equitable distribution of income and social stability.

5. Assistance in relating population policies and family planning programs to major sectors of development: health, nutrition, agriculture, education, social services, organized labor, women's activities, community development.

6. Initiatives to implement the Percy amendment regarding improvement in the status of women.

7. Emphasis in assistance and development programs on development of rural areas.

All these activities and others particularly productive are consistent with the Plan of Action and may be based upon it.

Beyond these activities, essentially directed at national interests, a broader educational concept is needed to convey an acute understanding of the interrelation of national interests and world population growth.

P A R T    T W O

Policy Recommendations

I. Introduction - A U.S. Global Population Strategy

There is no simple single approach to the population problem which will provide a "technological fix." As the previous analysis makes clear the problem of population growth has social, economic and technological aspects all of which must be understood and dealt with for a world population policy to succeed. With this in mind, the following broad recommended strategy provides a framework for the development of specific individual programs which must be tailored to the needs and particularities of each country and of different sectors of the population within a country. Essentially all its recommendations made below are supported by the World Population Plan of action drafted at the World Population Conference.

A. Basic Global Strategy

The following basic elements are necessary parts of a comprehensive approach to the population problem which must include both bilateral and multilateral components to achieve success. Thus, USG population assistance programs will need to be coordinated with those of the major multilateral institutions, voluntary organizations, and other bilateral donors.

The common strategy for dealing with rapid population growth should encourage constructive actions to lower fertility since population growth over the years will seriously negate reasonable prospects for the sound social and economic development of the peoples involved.

While the time horizon in this NSSM is the year 2000 we must recognize that in most countries, especially the LDCs, population stability cannot be achieved until the next century. There are too many powerful socio-economic factors operating on family size decisions and too much momentum built into the dynamics of population growth to permit a quick and dramatic reversal of current trends. There is also even less cause for optimism on the rapidity of socio-economic progress that would generate rapid fertility reduction in the poor LDCs than on the feasibility of extending family planning services to those in their populations who may wish to take advantage of them. Thus, at this point we cannot know with certainty when world population can feasibly be stabilized, nor can we state with assurance the limits of the world's ecological "carrying capability". But we can be certain of the desirable direction of change and can state as a plausible objective the target of achieving replacement fertility rates by the year 2000.

Over the past few years, U.S. government-funded population programs have played a major role in arousing interest in family planning in many countries, and in launching and accelerating the growth of national family planning programs. In most countries, there has been an initial rapid growth in contraceptive "acceptors" up to perhaps 10% of fertile couples in a few LDCs. The acceleration of previous trends of fertility decline is attributable, at least in part, to family planning programs.

However, there is growing appreciation that the problem is more long term and complex than first appeared and that a short term burst of activity or moral fervor will not solve it. The danger in this realization is that the U.S. might abandon its commitment to assisting in the world's population problem, rather than facing up to it for the long-run difficult problem that it is.

From year to year we are learning more about what kind of fertility reduction is feasible in differing LDC situations. Given the laws of compound growth, even comparatively small reductions in fertility over the next decade will make a significant difference in total numbers by the year 2000, and a far more significant one by the year 2050.

The proposed strategy calls for a coordinated approach to respond to the important U.S. foreign policy interest in the influence of population growth on the world's political, economic and ecological systems. What is unusual about population is that this foreign policy interest must have a time horizon far beyond that of most other objectives. While there are strong short-run reasons for population programs, because of such factors as food supply, pressures on social service budgets, urban migration and social and political instability, the major impact of the benefits - or avoidance of catastrophe - that could be accomplished by a strengthened U.S. commitment in the population area will be felt less by those of us in the U.S. and other countries today than by our children and grandchildren.

B. Ppriorities in U.S. and Multilateral Population Assistance

One issue in any global population strategy is the degree of emphasis in allocation of program resources among countries. The options available range from heavy concentration on a few vital large countries to a geographically diverse program essentially involving all countries willing to accept such assistance. All agencies believe the following policy provides the proper overall balance.

In order to assist the development of major countries and to maximize progress toward population stability, primary emphasis would be placed on the largest and fastest growing developing countries where the imbalance between growing numbers and development potential most seriously risks instability, unrest, and international tensions. These countries are: India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria, Mexico, Indonesia, Brazil, The Philippines, Thailand, Egypt, Turkey, Ethiopia, and Colombia. Out of a total 73.3 million worldwide average increase in population from 1970-75 these countries contributed 34.3 million or 47%. This group of priority countries includes some with virtually no government interest in family planning and others with active government family planning programs which require and would welcome enlarged technical and financial assistance. These countries should be given the highest priority within AID's population program in terms of resource allocations and/or leadership efforts to encourage action by other donors and organizations.

However, other countries would not be ignored. AID would provide population assistance and/or undertake leadership efforts with respect to other, lower priority countries to the extent that the availability of funds and staff permits, taking into account of such factors as : long run U.S. political interests; impact of rapid population growth on its development potential; the country's relative contribution to world population growth; its financial capacity to cope with the problem; potential impact on domestic unrest and international frictions (which can apply to small as well as large countries); its significance as a test or demonstration case; and opportunities for expenditures that appear particularly cost-effective (e.g. it has been suggested that there may be particularly cost-effective opportunities for supporting family planning to reduce the lag between mortality and fertility declines in countries where death rates are still declining rapidly); national commitment to an effective program.

For both the high priority countries and the lower priority ones to which funds and staff permit aid, the form and content of our assistance or leadership efforts would vary from country to country, depending on each nation's particular interests, needs, and receptivity to various forms of assistance. For example, if these countries are receptive to U.S. assistance through bilateral or central AID funding, we should provide such assistance at levels commensurate with the recipient's capability to finance needed actions with its own funds, the contributions of other donors and organizations, and the effectiveness with which funds can be used.

In countries where U.S. assistance is limited either by the nature of political or diplomatic relations with those countries or by lack of strong government desire. In population reduction programs, external technical and financial assistance (if desired by the countries) would have to come from other donors and/or from private and international organizations, many of which receive contributions from AID. The USG would, however, maintain an interest (e.g. through Embassies) in such countries' population problems and programs (if any) to reduce population growth rates. Moreover, particularly in the case of high priority countries, we should be alert to opportunities for expanding our assistance efforts and for demonstrating to their leaders the consequences of rapid population growth and the benefits of actions to reduce fertility.

In countries to which other forms of U.S. assistance are provided but not population assistance, AID will monitor progress toward achievement of development objectives, taking into account the extent to which these are hindered by rapid population growth, and will look for opportunities to encourage initiation of or improvement in population policies and programs.

In addition, the U.S. strategy should support in these LDC countries general activities (e.g. bio-medical research or fertility control methods) capable of achieving major breakthroughs in key problems which hinder reductions in population growth.

C. Instruments and Modalities for Population Assistance

Bilateral population assistance is the largest and most invisible "instrument" for carrying out U.S. policy in this area. Other instruments include: support for and coordination with population programs of multilateral organizations and voluntary agencies; encouragement of multilateral country consortia and consultative groups to emphasize family planning in reviews of overall recipient progress and aid requests; and formal and informal presentation of views at international gatherings, such as food and population conferences. Specific country strategies must be worked out for each of the highest priority countries, and for the lower priority ones. These strategies will take account of such factors as: national attitudes and sensitivities on family planning; which "instruments" will be most acceptable, opportunities for effective use of assistance; and need of external capital or operating assistance.

For example, in Mexico our strategy would focus on working primarily through private agencies and multilateral organizations to encourage more government attention to the need for control of population growth; in Bangladesh we might provide large-scale technical and financial assistance, depending on the soundness of specific program requests; in Indonesia we would respond to assistance requests but would seek to have Indonesia meet as much of program costs from its own resources (i.e. surplus oil earnings) as possible. In general we would not provide large-scale bilateral assistance in the more developed LDCs, such as Brazil or Mexico. Although these countries are in the top priority list our approach must take account of the fact that their problems relate often to government policies and decisions and not to larger scale need for concessional assistance.

Within the overall array of U.S. foreign assistance programs, preferential treatment in allocation of funds and manpower should be given to cost-effective programs to reduce population growth; including both family planning activities and supportive activities in other sectors.

While some have argued for use of explicit "leverage" to "force" better population programs on LDC governments, there are several practical constraints on our efforts to achieve program improvements. Attempts to use "leverage" for far less sensitive issues have generally caused political frictions and often backfired. Successful family planning requires strong local dedication and commitment that cannot over the long run be enforced from the outside. There is also the danger that some LDC leaders will see developed country pressures for family planning as a form of economic or racial imperialism; this could well create a serious backlash.

Short of "leverage", there are many opportunities, bilaterally and multilaterally, for U.S. representations to discuss and urge the need for stronger family planning programs. There is also some established precedent for taking account of family planning performance in appraisal of assistance requirements by AID and consultative groups. Since population growth is a major determinant of increases in food demand, allocation of scarce PL 480 resources should take account of what steps a country is taking in population control as well as food production. In these sensitive relationships, however, it is important in style as well as substance to avoid the appearance of coercion.

D. Provision and Development of Family Planning Services, Information and Technology

Past experience suggests that easily available family planning services are a vital and effective element in reducing fertility rates in the LDCs.

Two main advances are required for providing safe and effective fertility control techniques in the developing countries:

1. Expansion and further development of efficient low-cost systems to assure the full availability of existing family planning services, materials and information to the 85% of LDC populations not now effectively reached. In developing countries willing to create special delivery systems for family planning services this may be the most effective method. In others the most efficient and acceptable method is to combine family planning with health or nutrition in multi-purpose delivery systems.

2. Improving the effectiveness of present means of fertility control, and developing new technologies which are simple, low cost, effective, safe, long-lasting and acceptable to potential users. This involves both basic developmental research and operations research to judge the utility of new or modified approaches under LDC conditions.

Both of these goals should be given very high priority with necessary additional funding consistent with current or adjusted divisions of labor among other donors and organizations involved in these areas of population assistance.

E. Creating Conditions Conducive to Fertility Decline

It is clear that the availability of contraceptive services and information is not a complete answer to the population problem. In view of the importance of socio-economic factors in determining desired family size, overall assistance strategy should increasingly concentrate on selective policies which will contribute to population decline as well as other goals. This strategy reflects the complementarity between population control and other U.S. development objectives, particularly those relating to AID's Congressional mandate to focus on problems of the "poor majority" in LDC's.

We know that certain kinds of development policies -- e.g., those which provide the poor with a major share in development benefits -- both promote fertility reductions and accomplish other major development objectives. There are other policies which appear to also promote fertility reduction but which may conflict with non-population objectives (e.g., consider the effect of bringing a large number of women into the labor force in countries and occupations where unemployment is already high and rising).

However, AID knows only approximately the relative priorities among the factors that affect fertility and is even further away from knowing what specific cost-effective steps governments can take to affect these factors.

Nevertheless, with what limited information we have, the urgency of moving forward toward lower fertility rates, even without complete knowledge of the socio-economic forces involved, suggests a three-pronged strategy:

1. High priority to large-scale implementation of programs affecting the determinants of fertility in those cases where there is probable cost-effectiveness, taking account of potential impact on population growth rates; other development benefits to be gained; ethical considerations; feasibility in light of LDC bureaucratic and political concerns and problems; and timeframe for accomplishing objectives.

2. High priority to experimentation and pilot projects in areas where there is evidence of a close relationship to fertility reduction but where there are serious questions about cost-effectiveness relating either to other development impact (e.g., the female employment example cited above) or to program design (e.g., what cost-effective steps can be taken to promote female employment or literacy).

3. High priority to comparative research and evaluation on the relative impact on desired family size of the socio-economic determinants of fertility in general and on what policy scope exists for affecting these determinants.

In all three cases emphasis should be given to moving action as much as possible to LDC institutions and individuals rather than to involving U.S. researchers on a large scale.

Activities in all three categories would receive very high priority in allocation of AID funds. The largest amounts required should be in the first category and would generally not come from population funds. However, since such activities (e.g., in rural development and basic education) coincide with other AID sectoral priorities, sound project requests from LDC's will be placed close to the top in AID's funding priorities (assuming that they do not conflict with other major development and other foreign policy objectives).

The following areas appear to contain significant promise in effecting fertility declines, and are discussed in subsequent sections.

The World Population Plan of Action includes a provision (paragraph 31) that countries trying for effective fertility levels should give priority to development programs and health and education strategies which have a decisive effect upon demographic trends, including fertility. It calls for international information to give priority to assisting such national efforts. Programs suggested (paragraph 32) are essentially the same as those listed above.

Food is another of special concern in any population strategy. Adequate food stocks need to be created to provide for periods of severe shortages and LDC food production efforts must be reenforced to meet increased demand resulting from population and income growth. U.S. agricultural production goals should take account of the normal import requirements of LDC's (as well as developed countries) and of likely occasional crop failures in major parts of the LDC world. Without improved food security, there will be pressure leading to possible conflict and the desire for large families for "insurance" purposes, thus undermining other development and population control efforts.

F. Development of World-Wide Political and Popular Commitment to Population Stabilization and Its Associated Improvement of Individual Quality of Life.

A fundamental element in any overall strategy to deal with the population problem is obtaining the support and commitment of key leaders in the developing countries. This is only possible if they can clearly see the negative impact of unrestricted population growth in their countries and the benefits of reducing birth rates - and if they believe it is possible to cope with the population problem through instruments of public policy. Since most high officials are in office for relatively short periods, they have to see early benefits or the value of longer term statesmanship. In each specific case, individual leaders will have to approach their population problems within the context of their country's values, resources, and existing priorities.

Therefore, it is vital that leaders of major LDCs themselves take the lead in advancing family planning and population stabilization, not only within the U.N. and other international organizations but also through bilateral contacts with leaders of other LDCs. Reducing population growth in LDCs should not be advocated exclusively by the developed countries. The U.S. should encourage such a role as opportunities appear in its high level contact with LDC leaders.

The most recent forum for such an effort was the August 1974 U.N. World Population Conference. It was an ideal context to focus concerted world attention on the problem. The debate views and highlights of the World Population Plan of action are reviewed in Chapter VI.

The U.S. strengthened its credibility as an advocate of lower population growth rates by explaining that, while it did not have a single written action population policy, it did have legislation, Executive Branch policies and court decisions that amounted to a national policy and that our national fertility level was already below replacement and seemed likely to attain a stable population by 2000.

The U.S. also proposed to join with other developed countries in an international collaborative effort of research in human reproduction and fertility control covering bio-medical and socio-economic factors.

The U.S. further offered to collaborate with other interested donor countries and organizations (e.g., WHO, UNFPA, World Bank, UNICEF) to encourage further action by LDC governments and other institutions to provide low-cost, basic preventive health services, including maternal and child health and family planning services, reaching out into the remote rural areas.

The U.S. delegation also said the U.S. would request from the Congress increased U.S. bilateral assistance to population-family planning programs, and additional amounts for essential functional activities and our contribution to the UNFPA if countries showed an interest in such assistance.

Each of these commitments is important and should be pursued by the U.S. Government.

It is vital that the effort to develop and strengthen a commitment on the part of the LDC leaders not be seen by them as an industrialized country policy to keep their strength down or to reserve resources for use by the "rich" countries. Development of such a perception could create a serious backlash adverse to the cause of population stability. Thus the U.S. and other "rich" countries should take care that policies they advocate for the LDC's would be acceptable within their own countries. (This may require public debate and affirmation of our intended policies.) The "political" leadership role in developing countries should, of course, be taken whenever possible by their own leaders.

The U.S. can help to minimize charges of an imperialist motivation behind its support of population activities by repeatedly asserting that such support derives from a concern with:

(a) the right of the individual couple to determine freely and responsibly their number and spacing of children and to have information, education, and 1means to do so; and

(b) the fundamental social and economic development of poor countries in which rapid population growth is both a contributing cause and a consequence of widespread poverty.

Furthermore, the U.S. should also take steps to convey the message that the control of world population growth is in the mutual interest of the developed and developing countries alike.

Family planning programs should be supported by multilateral organizations wherever they can provide the most efficient and acceptable means. Where U.S. bilateral assistance is necessary or preferred, it should be provided in collaboration with host country institutions -- as is the case now. Credit should go to local leaders for the success of projects. The success and acceptability of family planning assistance will depend in large measure on the degree to which it contributes to the ability of the host government to serve and obtain the support of its people.

In many countries today, decision-makers are wary of instituting population programs, not because they are unconcerned about rapid population growth, but because they lack confidence that such programs will succeed. By actively working to demonstrate to such leaders that national population and family planning programs have achieved progress in a wide variety of poor countries, the U.S. could help persuade the leaders of many countries that the investment of funds in national family planning programs is likely to yield high returns even in the short and medium term. Several examples of success exist already, although regrettably they tend to come from LDCs that are untypically well off in terms of income growth and/or social services or are islands or city states.

We should also appeal to potential leaders among the younger generations in developing countries, focusing on the implications of continued rapid population growth for their countries in the next 10-20 years, when they may assume national leadership roles.

Beyond seeking to reach and influence national leaders, improved world-wide support for population-related efforts should be sought through increased emphasis on mass media and other population education and motivation programs by the U.N., USIA, and USAID. We should give higher priorities in our information programs world-wide for this area and consider expansion of collaborative arrangements with multilateral institutions in population education programs.

Another challenge will be in obtaining the further understanding and support of the U.S. public and Congress for the necessary added funds for such an effort, given the competing demands for resources. If an effective program is to be mounted by the U.S., we will need to contribute significant new amounts of funds. Thus there is need to reinforce the positive attitudes of those in Congress who presently support U.S. activity in the population field and to enlist their support in persuading others. Public debate is needed now.

Personal approaches by the President, the Secretary of State, other members of the Cabinet, and their principal deputies would be helpful in this effort. Congress and the public must be clearly informed that the Executive Branch is seriously worried about the problem and that it deserves their further attention. Congressional representatives at the World Population Conference can help.

An Alternative View

The above basic strategy assumes that the current forms of assistance programs in both population and economic and social development areas will be able to solve the problem. There is however, another view, which is shared by a growing number of experts. It believes that the outlook is much harsher and far less tractable than commonly perceived. This holds that the severity of the population problem in this century which is already claiming the lives of more than 10 million people yearly, is such as to make likely continued widespread food shortage and other demographic catastrophes, and, in the words of C.P. Snow, we shall be watching people starve on television.

The conclusion of this view is that mandatory programs may be needed and that we should be considering these possibilities now.

This school of thought believes the following types of questions need to be addressed:

While definitive answers to those questions are not possible in this study given its time limitations and its implications for domestic policy, nevertheless they are needed if one accepts the drastic and persistent character of the population growth problem. Should the choice be made that the recommendations and the options given below are not adequate to meet this problem, consideration should be given to a further study and additional action in this field as outlined above.


The overall strategy above provides a general approach through which the difficulties and dangers of population growth and related problems can be approached in a balanced and comprehensive basis. No single effort will do the job. Only a concerted and major effort in a number of carefully selected directions can provide the hope of success in reducing population growth and its unwanted dangers to world economic will-being and political stability. There are no "quick-fixes" in this field.

Below are specific program recommendations which are designed to implement this strategy. Some will require few new resources; many call for major efforts and significant new resources. We cannot simply buy population growth moderation for nearly 4 billion people "on the cheap."

II. Action to Create Conditions for Fertility Decline: Population and a Development Assistance Strategy

II. A. General Strategy and Resource Allocations for AID Assistance


1. Past Program Actions

Since inception of the program in 1965, AID has obligated nearly $625 million for population activities. These funds have been used primarily to (1) draw attention to the population problem, (2) encourage multilateral and other donor support for the worldwide population effort, and (3) help create and maintain the means for attacking the problem, including the development of LDC capabilities to do so.

In pursuing these objectives, AID's population resources were focussed on areas of need where action was feasible and likely to be effective. AID has provided assistance to population programs in some 70 LDCs, on a bilateral basis and/or indirectly through private organizations and other channels. AID currently provides bilateral assistance to 36 of these countries. State and AID played an important role in establishing the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) to spearhead multilateral effort in population as a complement to the bilateral actions of AID and other donor countries. Since the Fund's establishment, AID has been the largest single contributor. Moreover, with assistance from AID a number of private family planning organizations (e.g., Pathfinder Fund, International Planned Parenthood Foundation, Population Council) have significantly expanded their worldwide population programs. Such organizations are still the main supporters of family planning action in many developing countries.

AID actions have been a major catalyst in stimulating the flow of funds into LDC population programs - from almost nothing ten years ago, the amounts being spent from all sources in 1974 for programs in the developing countries of Africa, Latin America, and Asia (excluding China) will total between $400 and $500 million. About half of this will be contributed by the developed countries bilaterally or through multilateral agencies, and the balance will come from the budgets of the developing countries themselves. AID's contribution is about one-quarter of the total - AID obligated $112.4 million for population programs in FY 1974 and plans for FY 1975 program of $137.5 million.

While world resources for population activities will continue to grow, they are unlikely to expand as rapidly as needed. (One rough estimate is that five times the current amount, or about $2.5 billion in constant dollars, will be required annually by 1985 to provide the 2.5 billion people in the developing world, excluding China, with full-scale family planning programs). In view of these limited resources AID's efforts (in both fiscal and manpower terms) and through its leadership the efforts of others, must be focussed to the extent possible on high priority needs in countries where the population problem is the most acute. Accordingly, AID last year began a process of developing geographic and functional program priorities for use in allocating funds and staff, and in arranging and adjusting divisions of labor with other donors and organizations active in the worldwide population effort. Although this study has not yet been completed, a general outline of a U.S. population assistance strategy can be developed from the results of the priorities studied to date. The geographic and functional parameters of the strategy are discussed under 2. and 3. below. The implications for population resource allocations are presented under 4.

2. Geographic Priorities in U.S. Population Assistance

The U.S. strategy should be to encourage and support, through bilateral, multilateral and other channels, constructive actions to lower fertility rates in selected developing countries. Within this overall strategy and in view of funding and manpower limitations, the U.S. should emphasize assistance to those countries where the population problem is the most serious.

There are three major factors to consider in judging the seriousness of the problem:

Based on the first two criteria, AID has developed a preliminary rank ordering of nearly 100 developing countries which, after review and refinement, will be used as a guide in AID's own funding and manpower resource allocations and in encouraging action through AID leadership efforts on the part of other population assistance instrumentalities. Applying these three criteria to this rank ordering, there are 13 countries where we currently judge the problem and risks to be the most serious. They are: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Egypt, Turkey, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia. Out of a total 67 million worldwide increase in population in 1972 these countries contributed about 45%. These countries range from those with virtually no government interest in family planning to those with active government family planning programs which require and would welcome enlarged technical and financial assistance.

These countries should be given the highest priority within AID's population program in terms of resource allocations and/or leadership efforts to encourage action by other donors and organizations. The form and content of our assistance or leadership efforts would vary from country-to-country (as discussed in 3. below), depending on each country's needs, its receptivity to various forms of assistance, its capability to finance needed actions, the effectiveness with which funds can be used, and current or adjusted divisions of labor among the other donors and organizations providing population assistance to the country. AID's population actions would also need to be consistent with the overall U.S. development policy toward each country.

While the countries cited above would be given highest priority, other countries would not be ignored. AID would provide population assistance and/or undertake leadership efforts with respect to other countries to the extent that the availability of funds and staff permits, taking account of such factors as: a country's placement in AID's priority listing of LDCs; its potential impact on domestic unrest and international frictions (which can apply to small as well as large countries); its significance as a test or demonstration case; and opportunities for expenditures that appear particularly cost-effective (e.g. its has been suggested that there may be particularly cost-effective opportunities for supporting family planning to reduce the lag between mortality and fertility declines in countries where death rates are still declining rapidly).

3. Mode and Content of U.S. Population Assistance

In moving from geographic emphases to strategies for the mode and functional content of population assistance to both the higher and lower priority countries which are to be assisted, various factors need to be considered: (1) the extent of a country's understanding of its population problem and interest in responding to it; (2) the specific actions needed to cope with the problem; (3) the country's need for external financial assistance to deal with the problem; and (4) its receptivity to various forms of assistance.

Some of the countries in the high priority group cited above (e.g. Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand) and some lower priority countries have recognized that rapid population growth is a problem, are taking actions of their own to deal with it, and are receptive to assistance from the U.S. (through bilateral or central AID funding) and other donors, as well as to multilateral support for their efforts. In these cases AID should continue to provide such assistance based on each country's functional needs, the effectiveness with which funds can be used in these areas, and current or adjusted divisions of labor among other donors and organizations providing assistance to the country. Furthermore, our assistance strategies for these countries should consider their capabilities to finance needed population actions. Countries which have relatively large surpluses of export earning and foreign exchange reserves are unlikely to require large-scale external financial assistance and should be encouraged to finance their own commodity imports as well as local costs. In such cases our strategy should be to concentrate on needed technical assistance and on attempting to play a catalytic role in encouraging better programs and additional host country financing for dealing with the population problem.

In other high and lower priority countries U.S. assistance is limited either by the nature of political or diplomatic relations with those countries (e.g. India, Egypt), or by the lack of strong government interest in population reduction programs (e.g. Nigeria, Ethiopia, Mexico, Brazil). In such cases, external technical and financial assistance, if desired by the countries, would have to come from other donors and/or from private and international organizations (many of which receive contributions from AID). The USG would, however, maintain an interest (e.g. through Embassies) in such countries' population problems and programs (if any) to reduce population growth rates. Moreover, particularly in the case of high priority countries to which U.S. population assistance is now limited for one reason or another, we should be alert to opportunities for expanding our assistance efforts and for demonstrating to their leaders the consequences of rapid population growth and the benefits of actions to reduce fertility.

In countries to which other forms of U.S. assistance are provided but not population assistance, AID will monitor progress toward achievement of development objectives, taking into account the extent to which these are hindered by rapid population growth, and will look for opportunities to encourage initiation of or improvement in population policies and programs.

In addition, the U.S. strategy should support general activities capable of achieving major breakthroughs in key problems which hinder attainment of fertility control objectives. For example, the development of more effective, simpler contraceptive methods through bio-medical research will benefit all countries which face the problem of rapid population growth; improvements in methods for measuring demographic changes will assist a number of LDCs in determining current population growth rates and evaluating the impact over time of population/family planning activities.

4. Resource Allocations for U.S. Population Assistance

AID funds obligated for population/family planning assistance rose steadily since inception of the program ($10 million in the FY 1965-67 period) to nearly $125 million in FY 1972. In FY 1973, however, funds available for population remained at the $125 million level; in FY 1974 they actually declined slightly, to $112.5 million because of a ceiling on population obligations inserted in the legislation by the House Appropriations Committee. With this plateau in AID population obligations, worldwide resources have not been adequate to meet all identified, sensible funding needs, and we therefore see opportunities for significant expansion of the program.

Some major actions in the area of creating conditions for fertility decline, as described in Section IIB, can be funded from AID resources available for the sectors in question (e.g., education, agriculture). Other actions come under the purview of population ("Title X") funds. In this latter category, increases in projected budget requests to the Congress on the order of $35-50 million annually through FY 1980 -- above the $137.5 million requested by FY 1975 -- appear appropriate at this time. Such increases must be accompanied by expanding contributions to the worldwide population effort from other donors and organizations and from the LDCs themselves, if significant progress is to be made. The USG should take advantage of appropriate opportunities to stimulate such contributions from others.

NSM-200 1974 PART-1

NSM-200 1974 PART-2

NSM-200 1974 PART-3

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