Saturday, August 06, 2011

Different population problems

The issue of Science magazine dated July 29. 2011 has a long special section devoted to demographics and the understanding of world population. The graph above is from that section. I think the lesson is clear. Sub-Saharan Africa has a number of nations with very high population growth (and of course the correlated low levels of education, especially for women, short life expectancy, and high levels of poverty). These countries seem likely to need to work to reduce the rates of population growth. At the other extreme one finds Russia, with a need to deal with high death rates and low birth rates. Different countries have different population situations, and I suspect that their cultures will adapt toward population policies more responsive to the problems that their societies face.

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