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Beyond Population: Everyone Counts in Development

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  • Joel E. Cohen
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    Abstract

    This essay reviews important demographic trends expected to occur between 2010 and 2050, indicates some of their implications for economic and global development, and suggests some possible policies to respond these trends and implications. The century from 1950 to 2050 will have witnessed the highest global population growth rate ever, the largest voluntary fall in the global population growth rate ever, and the most enormous demographic shift ever between the more developed and less developed regions. In the coming half century, according to most demographers, the world’s population will grow older, larger (albeit more slowly), and more urban than in the 20th century, but with much variance within and across regions. No one knows what population and demographic characteristics of humans are sustainable, but it is clear that having a billion or people chronically hungry today results from collective human choices, not biophysical necessities. Concrete policy options to respond to demographic trends include providing universal primary and secondary education, eliminating unmet needs for contraception and reproductive health, and implementing demographically sensitive urban planning, particularly construction for greater energy efficiency and for an aging population.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Center for Global Development in its series Working Papers with number 220.

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    Length: 42 pages
    Date of creation: Jul 2010
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:cgd:wpaper:221

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    Web page: http://www.cgdev.org

    Related research

    Keywords: demography; urbanization; ageing; population growth; universal education; contraception;

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    Cited by:
    1. Pedro Conceição & Ricardo Fuentes & Sebastian Levine, 2011. "Managing Natural Resources for Human Development in Low-Income Countries," Working Papers 2011-002, United Nations Development Programme, Regional Bureau for Africa (UNDP/RBA).
    2. Roberto Iacono, 2012. "Is it really worse with a Bird in Hand? A comparison of fiscal rules for resource-rich economies," Working Paper Series 12612, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
    3. Grigoli, Francesco & Mills, Zachary, 2011. "Do high and volatile levels of public investment suggest misconduct ? the role of institutional quality," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5735, The World Bank.
    4. Issouf Samaké & Priscilla S. Muthoora & Bruno Versailles, 2013. "Fiscal Sustainability, Public Investment, and Growth in Natural Resource-Rich, Low-Income Countries," IMF Working Papers 13/144, International Monetary Fund.

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