Among the key development sectors that affect and are affected by population growth are natural resources, health and nutrition, the status and employment of women, education, and income distribution. The latter has already been considered in this discussion, and the others will now be reviewed one by one. Although considering these sectors individually violates the reality that they do not operate independently (and indeed interact with other sectors that will not be reviewed here) and can be understood and interpreted only in a larger context, to proceed otherwise would be to enter into the morass of attempting to relate everything to everything else. Nevertheless, it is necessary to keep in mind the qualifications specified by Cassen (1976:788) in his review of the interrelationships between population and development: “The explanation of fertility trends covers an enormous range of variables, reflecting the complexity of this area of human behaviour and its relation to biological, social, psychological and economic factors.... Fertility alters in relation to processes in society of which these factors form a part.” In her review of the relationships between population growth and development, Birdsall (1977:91) concluded: “No one intervention can be expected to affect fertility in a simple downward direction: the relation between each variable and fertility is complex, as are the relations among these variables and their joint effect on fertility.”


Infant Mortality Child Mortality Land Ownership Fertility Decline Family Planning Program 
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  1. 1.
    The position of Simon and Kahn ( 1984: 45) is as follows: “Environmental, resource, and population stresses are diminishing, and with the passage of time will have less influence than now upon the quality of human life on our planet…. Because of increases in knowledge, the earth’s ‘carrying capacity’ has been increasing throughout the decades and centuries and millenia to such an extent that the term ‘carrying capacity’ has by now no useful meaning. These trends strongly suggest a progressive improvement and enrichment of the earth’s natural resource base, and of mankind’s lot on earth.”Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    It may be noted that the World Bank itself, as well as the regional development banks, have been criticized by conservation organizations for neglecting what may be the negative environmental impact of some of their development assistance projects. See Shabecoff (1986) and Adams (1987).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    For reviews of these issues, see Boserup (1984) and Choi and Hicks (1984).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    On the problem of coordination of rural development policies and population policies, see O. G. Simmons (1984a) and Chapter 8.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    As noted earlier, about two thirds of the developing world’s population resides in rural areas and includes the vast majority of the world’s poorest people. Their reproduction rates are among the highest in the world, and the rural poor will account for most of the population growth in the LDCs throughout the remainder of the century.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Indeed, the average percentage decreased from 6.1% in 1972 to 3.0% in 1982 in low-income economies and from 6.5% in 1972 to 4.7% in 1982 in middle-income economies. See Table 26 on central government expenditure in International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (1985:224–225).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    In a review of the consequences of malnutrition, one nutritionist, Calloway (1980:19), reached the sweeping conclusion that “virtually nothing that the scientific community has discovered about nutrition in this century has altered the prevalence of severity of the dominant form of malnutrition. We know a great deal about energy–protein malnutrition—almost everything, in fact, except what causes it and how to prevent it. And what it costs society not to do so.”Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    In considering the effects of mortality on fertility, one should not forget the obvious but important point that it was the dramatic decreases in mortality in the LDCs in the postwar period that largely led to rapid population growth. As Stollnitz (1975:221) observed: “Mortality trends in the past few decades have been the dominant cause of the greatest acceleration of world population in history. Although gains in longevity are encountered in all regions, rich and poor, their extraordinary pace in low-income areas has brought about enormous differences between actual population growth and its prospects in the economically developed countries, on the one hand, and the less developed countries, on the other.”Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    As noted in Chapter 5, fecundity refers to the physiological capacity to produce a live child, fertility to actual reproductive performance.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    In an interesting paper, Scrimshaw (1978), in questioning the traditional assumption that high mortality leads to high fertility, advanced the idea that it is parental “underinvestment” in unwanted, high-birth-order children that may result in higher levels of morbidity and mortality. She suggested (ibid.:397) that “high fertility may be accompanied by the acceptance or even the unconscious encouragement of high mortality.”Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    For discussions of these constraints, see Cassen (1978c), Joseph and Russell (1980), Population Information Program (1982), and O. G. Simmons (1982). See also Mosley (1983), who proposed an analytical model for assessing the effectiveness of PHC programs as well as for improving their operation.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    The average volume of cereal imports by the low-income economies increased substantially between 1974 and 1983, primarily in China, India, and sub-Saharan Africa, and in the case of middle-income economies virtually doubled between 1974 and 1983. See Table 6 on agriculture and food in International Bank for Reconstruction and Development ( 1985: 184–185 ).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    I3The shadow cost of women’s time is the demand for and economic productivity of women’s time in food production, processing, marketing, and consumption-related activities as opposed to the time women allocate to child care .Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ozzie G. Simmons
    • 1
  1. 1.Fordham UniversityThe BronxUSA

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