Two Conflicting Population Issues Affecting The World

A population research group reports on two simultaneously occurring population trends in the world affecting developed and less developed nations: Working age adults have dropped precipitously, while poorer nations grow too fast.
August 2, 2010, 10am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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The Population Reference Bureau, in releasing their latest "Data Sheet", hopes to educate world nations that fertility rates are not the only ratio to be concerned with when discussing population growth.

PRB reports that "the ratio of working-age adults to support the elderly in developed countries declines precipitously because of lower birthrates and longer life spans."

"In Japan, the population of working-age people, typically defined as those 15 to 64, compared with the population 65 and older that is dependent on this younger group, is projected to decline to a ratio of one to one, from the current three to one. Worldwide, the ratio of working age people for every person in the older age group is expected to decline to four to one, from nine to one now." These plummeting rates will threaten the "health and financial security of the elderly".

Meanwhile, the poor grow more numerous - exacerbating poverty.

"Even with a decline in birthrates in less developed countries from 6 children per woman in 1950 to 2.5 today...the population of Africa is projected to at least double by midcentury to 2.1 billion. Asia will add an additional 1.3 billion."

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Published on Friday, July 30, 2010 in The New York Times - World
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