Population Growth, (Per Capita) Economic Growth, and Poverty Reduction in Uganda: Theory and Evidence
This paper examines the link between population and per capita economic growth in Uganda. After showing that Uganda has one of the highest population growth rates in the world which, due to the inherent demographic momentum, will persist for some time to come, it then considers the impact of population growth on per capita economic growth. It finds that both theoretical considerations as well as strong empirical evidence suggest that the currently high population growth puts a considerable break on per capita growth prospects in Uganda. Moreover, it contributes significantly to low achievements in education, health, and poverty reduction and will make improvements in these areas very difficult. It may also be an important factor in the increase of inequality. If Uganda began a period of sustained fertility decline, the estimates reviewed here would suggest that this could boost medium term per capita growth rates by between 0.5-0.6 percentage points per year; considering the favourable age structure dynamics such a fertility decline would generate, per capita growth could increase by between 1.5 and 3 percentage points. It could also significantly contribute to improvements in poverty, inequality, education, and health outcomes. The note emphasizes the importance of a concerted effort to promote female education (including progression, completion, and secondary education), female formal sector employment, investments in reproductive and child health as well as family planning services, and government political leadership to promote smaller families.
|Date of creation:||01 May 2005|
|Note:||This paper is written as part of a work program on gender and growth in Uganda, undertaken at the request of the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and the PEAP Gender Group as a contribution to the PEAP revision process. I am grateful for inputs from David Lawson, as well as helpful comments from David Bevan, Michael Grimm, Andrew Keith, John MacKinnon, Fiona Davies, Jenny Yates, members of the World Bank country office, and Sudarshan Canagarajah. Funding from DFID in support of this work is gratefully acknowledged.|
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