Population and Development Review

Published by Wiley
Online ISSN: 1728-4457
Print ISSN: 0098-7921
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This article summarizes major recent findings on Chinese demographic behavior and outlines their relevancy for the Malthusian model of comparative population dynamics and Chinese population in particular. Specifically, it considers four distinctive and persistent features of Chinese behavior during the last 300 years-high rates of female infanticide and abortion, high rates of bachelorhood, low marital fertility, and high rates of male and female adoption-and discusses the origins and implications of such a demographic regime for Chinese economic and social development. Contrasting Chinese demographic behavior with European demographic behavior, the article argues the existence of a demographic system and a demographic transition different from current Malthusian and neo-Malthusian models, and the existence of a system regulating collective demographic behavior in ways distinctly different from Western experience. Copyright 1999 by The Population Council, Inc..
 
Public transfer programs in industrial nations are thought to benefit the elderly through pension and health care programs at the expense of the young and future generations. However, this intergenerational picture changes if public education is also considered as a transfer program. We calculate the net present value (NPV) of benefits received minus taxes paid for US generations born 1850 to 2090. Surprisingly, all generations 1950 to 2050 are net gainers, while many current elderly are losers. Windfall gains from starting Social Security and Medicare partially offset windfall losses from starting public education, roughly consistent with the Becker-Murphy theory.
 
Between 1880 and 2000, the percentage of married men 60 and older living only with their wives in empty nest households rose from 19 percent to 78 percent. Data drawn from the US census show that more than half of this transformation occurred in the 30-year period from 1940 to 1970, bookended by moderate increases between 1880 and 1940 and very modest increases after 1970. Two literatures have presented demographic, cultural, and economic explanations for the decline in elderly co-residence with their children, but none adequately accounts for a sharp change in the mid-twentieth century. Both aggregate comparisons and multivariate analysis of factors influencing the living arrangements of elderly men suggest that economic advances for all age groups in the critical 30-year period, along with trends in fertility and immigration, best explain the three-stage shift that made the empty nest the dominant household form for older men by the beginning of the twenty-first century.
 
Systematic and critical evaluation, using food balance sheets, census population data, government surveys, food composition statistics, and estimates of the population's biological requirements, shows that the realized improvements in food supplies in India of the past five decades, while beneficial, have been insufficient to meet the nutritional needs of the average person in a population that grew from less than 350 million to nearly one billion during this period. The improvements also fall significantly short of meeting the needs of the clinically malnourished. Present per capita dietary energy intakes range from as high as 95 percent to as low as 50 percent of daily requirements. Additionally, comparison of past and present diets shows that as the composition of the diet has changed with time, its nutritional quality for many has deteriorated despite an apparent increase in overall food quantity. This has come about from changes in the production system that have emphasized wheat and rice crops at the expense of more nutritional pulses and coarse grains, and from widespread poverty that leaves high-quality animal foods beyond the means of most. Copyright 1999 by The Population Council, Inc..
 
The second half of the twentieth century saw global demographic change of unprecedented magnitude, with pronounced falls in both mortality and fertility in many developing countries. This article assesses the extent to which these changes have led to the convergence of demographic patterns around the world. It considers not just the levels of fertility and mortality in each country at different points in time, but also the size of each population. It also disaggregates China and India into their constituent provinces and states in order to provide estimates for units more typical of the size of the populations of other countries. The note presents proportions of the world's population according to the levels of life expectancy and total fertility they experienced in the early 1950s, the late 1970s, and around 2000. The graphs and tables thus produced give a convenient and novel way to view the scale and nature of demographic convergence over the last 50 years. Copyright 2001 by The Population Council, Inc..
 
Immigration reforms in the United States initiated in the 1960s are widely thought to have opened the door to mass immigration from Asia and Latin America by eliminating past discriminatory policies. While this may be true for Asians, it is not the case for Latin Americans, who faced more restrictions to legal migration after 1965 than before. The boom in Latin American migration occurred in spite of rather than because of changes in US immigration law. In this article we describe how restrictions placed on the legal entry of Latin Americans, and especially Mexicans, set off a chain of events that in the ensuing decades had the paradoxical effect of producing more rather than fewer Latino immigrants. We offer an explanation for how and why Latinos in the United States, in just 40 years, increased from 9.6 million people and 5 percent of the population to 51 million people and 16 percent of the population, and why so many are now present without authorization.
 
Boxplot of the share of cohabitation among all unions of women 25-29 in the regions of Latin American countries, various census rounds Note: Regions with less than 50 women among all unions in the dataset are not included. Source: Own calculations based on Latin American census microdata from IPUMS international  
Patterns in the rise of the share of cohabitation among all unions of women 25-29 in regions of Latin American countries, various census rounds Note: Regions with less than 50 women among all unions in the dataset are not shown. Source: Own calculations based on Latin American census microdata from IPUMS international.  
Share of cohabitation among all unions of women 25-29 by level of education, country and census round Notes: * Perú is 1993. ** Puerto Rico is 1990 Source: Own calculations based on Latin American census microdata from IPUMS international.  
Boxplots of the regional distributions of the percentage of women 25-29 with complete primary education or better in Latin American countries, various census rounds Note: Regions with less than 50 women among all unions in the dataset are not included. Source: Own calculations based on Latin American census microdata from IPUMS international.  
The article describes the rise of unmarried cohabitation in Latin American countries during the last 30 years of the twentieth century, both at the national and regional levels. It documents that this major increase occurred in regions with and without traditional forms of cohabitation alike. In addition, the striking degree of catching up of cohabitation among the better-educated population segments is illustrated. The connections between these trends and economic (periods of high inflation) and cultural (reduction of stigmas in ethical domains) factors are discussed. The conclusion is that the periods of inflation and hyperinflation may have been general catalysts, but no clear indications of correlation were found between such economic factors and the rise in cohabitation. The shift toward more tolerance for hitherto stigmatized forms of conduct (e.g., homosexuality, euthanasia, abortion, singleparent household) is in line with the rise of cohabitation in regions of Argentina, Chile, and Brazil where cohabitation used to be uncommon. Further rises in cohabitation during the first decade of the twenty-first century are expected in a number of countries (e.g., mexico) despite conditions of much lower inflation.
 
Cross-nationally, observed fertility is well below mean levels of reported ideal family size and also usually well below survey respondents' fertility desires and intentions. The United States is an exception. In this article we: (1) discuss the importance of fertility ideals and intentions for understanding observed fertility levels, (2) propose a model that can account for variable attitude-behavior consistency, and (3) use this model as a framework to examine trends in American women's fertility ideals, intentions, and actual fertility. Our study uses data from the General Social Surveys and the Current Population Surveys. We ask whether preferences and intentions for moderate family sizes have eroded with time. The answer is remarkably clear: the dominant American ideals and intentions are for two or three children, and these preferences have persisted across the last three decades. The unusual aggregate correspondence between fertility intentions and behavior in the United States is explained by an apparent offsetting of factors that increase/decrease fertility relative to intentions. Copyright 2005 The Population Council, Inc..
 
Previous research has revealed much global convergence over the past several decades in life expectancy at birth and in infant mortality, which are closely linked. But trends in the variance of length of life, and in the variance of length of adult life in particular, are less well understood. I examine life-span inequality in a comprehensive panel of 180 countries observed in 1970 and 2000. Convergence in infant mortality has unambiguously reduced world inequality in total length of life starting from birth, but world inequality in length of adult life has remained largely unchanged. Underlying both of these observations is a growing share of total inequality attributable to between-country variation. Especially among developed countries, the absolute level of between-country inequality has risen over time. The sources of widening inequality in length of life between countries remain unclear, but signs point away from changes in income, leaving patterns of knowledge diffusion as a likely candidate.
 
At present China maintains its ambitious goal of not exceeding a population of around 1.2 billion by the year 2000. Given the huge number of women entering the peak childbearing ages during the next decade, the attainment of this target requires renewed efforts in family planning. After a period of relaxation in the family planning program, since 1986 the national and provincial governments have been tightening up on family planning in order to achieve China's goal. Despite changes in leadership and degree of heavyhandedness in enforcement of the one-child policy between the early 1980s and 1988, throughout this period the basic elements of China's family planning program have not changed. These elements include: a stated official policy on voluntarism, mandatory family planning and contraceptive methods, national limits on the number of children per couple, and the use of one-child pledges and family planning contracts in policy implementation. -Authors
 
The ethnic minority populations in the UK are growing substantially through immigration, a youthful age structure, and in some cases relatively high fertility. Their diverse demographic and socioeconomic characteristics have attracted considerable academic and policy attention, especially insofar as those distinctive characteristics have persisted in the generations born in the UK. No official projections of the UK ethnic populations have been published since 1979. This article provides projections to 2056 and beyond of 12 ethnic groups. Given overall net immigration and vital rates as assumed in the office for National Statistics 2008-based Principal Projection, and the ethnic characteristics estimated here, the ethnic minority populations (including the Other White) would increase from 13 percent of the UK population in 2006 to 28 percent by 2031 and 44 percent by 2056, and to about half the 0-4 age group in 2056. Alternative projections assume various lower levels of immigration. Possible implications of projected changes are discussed.
 
This article reviews and summarizes widely scattered evidence on abortion and eugenics in Nazi Germany. Following an overview of abortion legislation from the beginnings of the German Reich through the Weimar Republic and a brief perspective on the birth control movement, sex education, and contraception, consideration is given to the influence of demographic trends and notions of eugenics and racial hygiene in evolving population policy. The Nazi years are then discussed in terms of abortion and birth control policies and practice in the period 1933-39 and in the war years 1939-45. The former period was characterized by the suppression of the birth control movement, increasing restrictions on grounds for legal abortion, and severe penalization of performers of illegal abortions. During the war, racial grounds were virtually the only basis for legal abortion, numbers of illegal abortions rose abruptly, and penalties were severe. Experiences in neighboring occupied countries mirrored, with some variation, the German policies and practices.
 
Population momentum is the main driver of global population growth today, and this makes an appreciation of momentum critical to understanding contemporary worldwide growth dynamics. This article traces population momentum along with two recently defined measures of momentum decomposed—stable and nonstable momentum—across the demographic transition. We use historical data and population projections from 16 countries to illustrate some previously ignored empirical regularities of the demographic transition in both the developed and the developing world. We also demonstrate the dynamic nature of stable and nonstable momentum, as changes in stable momentum lead to predictable changes in current and future nonstable momentum. These results suggest that momentum, which by definition is measured at a point in time, can also be considered as a process that unfolds over time.
 
Having reversed its pronatalist policies in 1988, the Islamic Republic of Iran implemented one of the most successful family planning programs in the developing world. This achievement, particularly in urban centers, is largely attributable to a large women-led volunteer health worker program for low-income urban neighborhoods. Research in three cities demonstrates that this successful program has had a host of unintended consequences. In a context where citizen mobilization and activism are highly restricted, volunteers have seized this new state-sanctioned space and successfully negotiated many of the familial, cultural, and state restrictions on women. They have expanded their mandate from one focused on health activism into one of social, if not political, activism, highlighting the ways in which citizens blur the boundaries of state and civil society under restrictive political systems prevalent in many of the Middle Eastern societies.
 
In the multitude of people is the king's honour; but in the want of people is the destruction of the prince—Proverbs 14: 28
 
In 1980 Caldwell hypothesized that the time of the onset of the fertility transition in developing countries would be linked with the achievement of "mass formal schooling." This article applies Demographic and Health Survey data to assess schooling patterns and trends for 23 sub-Saharan African countries, using the percentage of 15-19-year olds who have completed at least four years of schooling as an indicator of progress in education. As background to that assessment, the article includes a review of the sparse literature on the links between children's schooling and fertility decline. The analysis strongly supports Caldwell's hypothesis with empirical evidence of the much stronger negative relationship between fertility decline and grade 4 attainment in those countries that have attained mass-schooling levels than in those that have not yet achieved such levels. Copyright 2000 by The Population Council, Inc..
 
this high fertility combined with declining mortality has resulted in rapid population growth—2.5 percent per year—and the un projects the sub-Saharan population to grow from 0.86 billion in 2010 to 1.96 billion in 2050 and 3.36 billion in 2100. Such unprecedented expansion of human numbers creates a range of social, economic, and environmental challenges and makes it more difficult for the continent to raise living standards. Hence the growing interest in demographic trends in africa among policymakers. according to conventional demographic theory, high fertility in the early stages of the demographic transition is the consequence of high desired family size. Couples want many children to assist with family enterprises such as farming and for security in old age. in addition, high child mortality leads parents to have additional children to protect against loss or to replace losses. Fertility decline occurs once rising levels of urbanization and education, changes in the economy, and declining mortality lead parents to desire a smaller number of births. to implement these desires, parents rely on contraception or abortion, and family planning programs in many countries accelerate their adoption (notestein 1945;
 
The article explores how geography, history, and society have shaped childbearing behaviors over the last half-century, and how they are now being reshaped by modernity and the exigencies of urban life, in the democratic Republic of the Congo. The decline of prolonged postpartum abstinence and involuntary childlessness initially raised fertility to high levels (6–7 children per woman). More recently, socioeconomic differentials in fertility have emerged, suggesting that the country may be entering a phase of fertility decline. A full-blown transition, however, seems still a remote prospect. Supported both by cultural traditions and by economic rationality, Congo's people remain largely convinced of the benefits of many children for their own and their kin's security. While an eventual fertility transition may be taken for granted, the article examines the many hurdles, contradictions, and tensions that will have to be overcome to achieve that outcome.
 
Interest in migrant social networks and social capital has grown substantially over the past several decades. The relationship between “host” and “migrant” communities remains central to these scholarly debates. Recently urbanized cities in Africa, which include large numbers of “native-born” or internal migrants, challenge basic presumptions about host/migrant distinctions informing many of these discussions. Using comparable survey data from Johannesburg, Maputo, and Nairobi, we examine 1) the nature of social connectedness in terms of residence and nativity characteristics; and 2) the relationship between residence and nativity characteristics and three measures of trust within and across communities. Our findings suggest that the host/migrant distinction may not be particularly revealing in African cities where domestic mobility, social fragmentation and the absence of bridging institutions result in relatively low levels of trust both within and across communities. These findings underscore the need for new concepts to study “communities of strangers” and how people strategize their social mobility in urban contexts.
 
During the past four decades, historians and demographers have argued that historical Northwest Europe and North America had a unique weak-family system characterized by neolocal marriage and nuclear family structure. This analysis uses newly available micro-data from 84 historical and contemporary censuses of 34 countries to evaluate whether the residential behavior of the aged in historical Northwest Europe and North America was truly distinctive. The results show that with simple controls for agricultural employment and demographic structure, comparable measures of the living arrangements of the aged show little systematic difference between nineteenth-century Northwest Europe and North America and twentieth-century developing countries. These findings cast doubt on the hypothesis that Northwest Europeans and North Americans had an exceptional historical pattern of preference for nuclear families. Copyright (c) 2009 The Population Council, Inc..
 
This essay drafts a new interdisciplinary agenda for research on population and development. Starting from Kingsley Davis's 1963 formulation of change and response, Davis's analytical categories are broadened to include inertia as well as change and to encompass both demographic and non-demographic responses at the micro, meso, and macro levels. On that basis the essay proposes what can be called a comprehensive demography, an approach drawing principally on micro-level methodologies like those employed in anthropological demography. Like anthropological demography, comprehensive demography questions the rationality of actors, emphasizes cultural infuences, and stops short of the postmodernist extremes of anthropology. But it also takes explicit account of higher-level social, economic, and political factors bearing on demographic behavior and outcomes. The conclusion raises some epistemological issues. Illustrative examples are offered throughout to demonstrate the feasibility of the approach, mainly referring to sub-Saharan africa and the Caribbean and often drawn from the authors' own fieldwork.
 
We explore the demographic factors contributing to China's unbalanced sex ratio at marriagable ages. We develop a stable population model of the sex ratio at marriagable ages, and compare a series of population projections with alternative underlying assumptions about the key demographic inputs. The stable population model demonstrates that several demographic factors interact to influence the sex ratio at marriagable ages, including the sex ratio at birth, population growth, the age gap of marriage partners, and the sex ratio of survival from birth to marriageable age. The population projections further demonstrate that policies that seek to reduce the sex ratio at birth and the age gap at marriage and, to a lesser extent, increase fertility would be most effective at alleviating the problem. But no demographic changes are likely to occur quickly enough to balance the sex ratio at marriagable ages in the near future.
 
This study examines the relation between risk exposures in early life and hazard of mortality among 11,978 Union Army veterans aged 50 and over in 1900. Veterans' risk exposures prior to enlistment-as approximated by birth season, country of origin, residential region, city size, and height at enlistment-significantly influence their chance of survival after 1900. These effects are robust irrespective of whether or not socioeconomic well-being circa 1900 has been taken into account; however, they are sensitive to the particular age periods that have been selected for survival analysis. Whereas some of the effects such as being born in Ireland and coming from big cities became fully unfolded in the first decade after 1900 and then dissipated over time, the effects of birth season, being born in Germany, residential region in the U.S., and height at enlistment were more salient in the post-1910 periods. Height at enlistment shows a positive association with risk of mortality in the post-1910 periods. Compared to corresponding findings from more recent cohorts, the exceptional rigidity of the effects of risk exposures prior to enlistment on old-age mortality among the veterans highlights the harshness of living conditions early in their life.
 
The remarkable growth in life expectancy during the twentieth century inspired predictions of a future in which all people, not just a fortunate few, will live long lives ending at or near the maximum human life span. We show that increased longevity has been accompanied by less variation in ages at death, but survivors to the oldest ages have grown increasingly heterogeneous in their mortality risks. These trends are consistent across countries, and apply even to populations with record-low variability in the length of life. We argue that as a result of continuing improvements in survival, delayed mortality selection has shifted health disparities from early to later life, where they manifest in the growing inequalities in late-life mortality.
 
We provide the first global assessment of the sources of population aging by tracing its origins to the demographic histories of more and less developed countries. In more developed countries, improvements in survival among successive cohorts have accounted for the large majority of the recent increase in the population's mean age. Improved survivorship and declines in the growth rate of births have made roughly equal contributions to the aging that is occurring in less developed countries. Aging is more rapid in less developed countries because the number of births has declined faster, with China and India making large contributions. Use of the proportion of the population above age 65, 70, or 75 as measures of aging produces results similar to those using the mean age. Mortality decline becomes an even larger contributor to aging using all these measures, and its contribution grows as age advances.
 
Young-age, old-age, and total dependency ratios for persons aged 20–65 years, Sweden 1900–2008 and estimates to 2050  
Age-specific consumption and labor income, Sweden 2003, measured in 2003 SEK  
Age-specific consumption, by type, Sweden 2003, measured in 2003 SEK  
Life-cycle deficit, Sweden 2008–2050 (index, 2008 = 100)  
Population Aging and the Future of the Welfare State: The Example of Sweden TO M M Y BE N G T S S O N KI R K SC O T T Sweden was the world leader in population aging for a good portion of the twentieth century. During that century, the share of the elderly doubled in Sweden, with 18 percent aged 65 years and older in year 2000. While no longer at the forefront of population aging, the country’s share of elderly is still very high and is estimated to increase to 26 percent by 2050. The question is whether the next step toward population aging will continue as smoothly as the first step, when the increase in the share of elderly was paralleled by an expansion of the welfare state and increasing living standards for all age groups. Will it be possible to maintain and improve living standards in all age groups, and will the various welfare systems be able to handle future population aging? Already in the 1990s, the pension system underwent a change to make it more robust. Today, the organization and funding of elderly support and health care are major concerns as the share of elderly increases. Can Sweden simply increase taxes or must there be a substantial long-term increase in labor productivity? Will immigration or an increase in fertility be the answer or must the working life be extended? While this chapter examines the challenge of population aging in the years to come, it starts with an overview of how Sweden got to this point to see what we can learn from history.
 
The extended family has been recognized as a major safety net for orphans in sub-Saharan Africa. However, the mortality crisis associated with HIV/AIDS may drastically reduce the availability of relatives and thus undermine traditional forms of mutual support. In this article, the microsimulator SOCSIM is used to estimate and project quantities such as the number of living uncles, aunts, siblings, and grandparents available to orphans. The model is calibrated to the setting of Zimbabwe, using data from demographic and Health Surveys and estimates and projections of demographic rates from the United Nations. The article shows that there is a lag of more than ten years between the peak in orphanhood prevalence and the peak in scarcity of grandparents for orphans. The results indicate that a generalized HIV/AIDS epidemic has a prolonged impact on children and orphans that extends well beyond the peak in mortality. A rapid increase in the number of orphans is followed by a steady reduction in the number of living grandparents for orphans. Consequently, the burden of double orphans (both of whose parents have died) is likely to shift to uncles and aunts. In Zimbabwe, the number of living uncles and aunts per double orphan decreased between 1980 and 2010, but it is expected to increase progressively during the next few decades. Changes in kinship structure have important social consequences that should be taken into account when seeking to address the lack of care for orphans.
 
This paper summarizes trends in the use of child domestic servants in six Latin American countries using IPUMS-International census samples for 1960 to 2000. Child domestics are among the most vulnerable of child workers, and the most invisible. They may be treated kindly and allowed to attend school, or they may be secluded in their employers' home, overworked, verbally abused, beaten, and unable to leave or report their difficulties to kin. Estimates and imputations are based on labor force and relationship-to-head variables. We find that domestic service makes up a substantial fraction of girls' employment in some countries. We also analyze trends in live-in versus live-out status and school enrollment of child domestic servants. While all child workers are disadvantaged in enrollment relative to non-workers, domestics are sometimes better off than non-domestic workers. In some samples, live-ins are more likely to go to school than live-out child domestics. In others, they are substantially worse off.
 
This symposium takes as its point of departure two books by Massimo Livi Bacci, Conquest and El Dorado in the Marshes, published in English in 2008 and 2010. Livi Bacci assesses widely varying estimates of the demographic dimensions of the collapse of the native populations following their contact with Europeans and elucidates the proximate causes of that catastrophe. Drawing on models that combine production potential with demography, environment, and technology, Shripad Tuljapurkar discusses analogous historical experiences of the populations of Polynesia and the social transformation they entailed. David S. Reher argues that explanations of the estimated demographic dynamics need to take into account the negative fertility responses of the indigenous population to the disruption of their traditional way of life. Focusing on the biological aspects of immunity to diseases such as smallpox, Andrew Noymer demonstrates that infectious diseases alone could not account for the Indios' population collapse. The contributions to this symposium are based on presentations at a session at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America, held in Dallas, Texas, that examined the demographic consequences of the Spanish Conquest of the Caribbean region and of South America in light of the two books.
 
This symposium takes as its point of departure two books by Massimo Livi Bacci, Conquest and El Dorado in the Marshes, published in English in 2008 and 2010. Livi Bacci assesses widely varying estimates of the demographic dimensions of the collapse of the native populations following their contact with Europeans and elucidates the proximate causes of that catastrophe. Drawing on models that combine production potential with demography, environment, and technology, Shripad Tuljapurkar discusses analogous historical experiences of the populations of Polynesia and the social transformation they entailed. David S. Reher argues that explanations of the estimated demographic dynamics need to take into account the negative fertility responses of the indigenous population to the disruption of their traditional way of life. Focusing on the biological aspects of immunity to diseases such as smallpox, Andrew Noymer demonstrates that infectious diseases alone could not account for the Indios' population collapse. The contributions to this symposium are based on presentations at a session at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America, held in Dallas, Texas, that examined the demographic consequences of the Spanish Conquest of the Caribbean region and of South America in light of the two books.
 
This symposium takes as its point of departure two books by Massimo Livi Bacci, Conquest and El Dorado in the Marshes, published in English in 2008 and 2010. Livi Bacci assesses widely varying estimates of the demographic dimensions of the collapse of the Native populations following their contact with Europeans and elucidates the proximate causes of that catastrophe. Drawing on models that combine production potential with demography, environment, and technology, Shripad Tuljapurkar discusses analogous historical experiences of the populations of Polynesia and the social transformation they entailed. David S. Reher argues that explanations of the estimated demographic dynamics need to take into account the negative fertility responses of the Indigenous population to the disruption of their traditional way of life. Focusing on the biological aspects of immunity to diseases such as smallpox, Andrew Noymer demonstrates that infectious diseases alone could not account for the Indios' population collapse. The contributions to this symposium are based on presentations at a session at the 2010 annual meeting of the Population Association of America, held in Dallas, Texas, that examined the demographic consequences of the Spanish conquest of the Caribbean region and of South America in light of the two books.
 
selected fertility measures, east asian and German-speaking european countries, recent years 
Cohort average age of childbearing, selected East Asian countries, birth cohorts 1925–71  
Childbearing behavior in East Asian countries has changed rapidly during the past half century from an average of five to seven children per family, to replacement-level fertility, and subsequently to unprecedentedly low levels, the lowest in the world. This article analyzes fertility trends in Hong Kong, Japan, singapore, south Korea, and Taiwan using cohort fertility data and methods, then examines social and economic causes of the childbearing trends, and surveys policies pursued to reverse the fertility trends. Postponement of childbearing started in the 1970s with continuously fewer delayed births being "recuperated," which resulted in ultra-low fertility. A rapid expansion of education and employment among women in a patriarchal environment has generated a stark dilemma for women who would like to combine childbearing with a career. Policy responses have been slow, with a more serious attempt to address issues in recent years. Thus far public and private institutions are not devoting sufficient attention to generating broad social change supportive of parenting.
 
Recent research suggests that rising obesity will restrain future gains in US life expectancy and that obesity is an important contributor to the current shortfall in us longevity compared to other high-income countries. Estimates of the contribution of obesity to current and future national-level mortality patterns are sensitive to estimates of the magnitude of the association between obesity and mortality at the individual level. We assessed secular trends in the obesity/mortality association among cohorts of middle-aged adults between 1948 and 2006 using three long-running US data sources: the Framingham Heart Study, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, and the National Health Interview Survey. We find substantial declines over time in the magnitude of the association between obesity and overall mortality and, in certain instances, cardiovascular-specific mortality. We conclude that estimates of the contribution of obesity to current national-level mortality patterns should take into account recent reductions in the magnitude of the obesity and mortality association.
 
This note analyzes the association between media exposure and reproductive behavior in 48 developing countries. A summary of part of a more extensive Demographic and Health Surveys report, it shows strong connections between media exposure and the use of modern contraception, the number of children desired, and recent fertility. Television viewing is particularly important; it is assumed to expose viewers to aspects of modern life that compete with traditional attitudes toward the family and is associated with greater use of modern contraceptive methods, with a desire for fewer children, and with lower fertility. These relationships are particularly noteworthy because the data measure only the frequency of media exposure with no information about its content.
 
While marriage rates are relatively stable among better-educated men and women, they are rapidly declining among those with low educational attainment. This development has been recognized in the US as a new socioeconomic pattern of marriage. This article uses census data to show that socioeconomic marriage differentials are also increasing in Australia and New Zealand. These differentials have previously been noted independently of each other and of the international picture. In synthesizing the antipodean data, the article documents the new socioeconomic marriage pattern as an international phenomenon. This article further considers the extent to which the available explanations for the new marriage pattern fit the antipodean setting. In general, the factors identified as important in the North American setting are applicable to both Australia and New Zealand. In particular, the poor marriage prospects of men with low educational attainment appear to be common to these post-industrial economies with minimalist welfare states.
 
The child-care and fertility hypothesis has been in the literature for a long time and is straightforward: As child care becomes more available, affordable, and acceptable, the antinatalist effects of increased female educational attainment and work opportunities decrease. As an increasing number of countries express concern about low fertility, the child-care and fertility hypothesis takes on increased importance. Yet data and statistical limitations have heretofore limited empirical tests of the hypothesis. Using rich longitudinal data and appropriate statistical methodology, We show that increased availability of child care increases completed fertility. Moreover, this positive effect of child-care availability is found at every parity transition. We discuss the generalizability of these results to other settings and their broader importance for understanding variation and trends in low fertility.
 
Consistent with the increasing focus on issues of equity in developing countries, I extend the literature analyzing the relationship between economic inequality and individual health to the developing world. Using survey data from Bangladesh and Kenya with economic status measured by a wealth index and with three different geographic definitions of community, I analyze six competing hypotheses for how economic inequality may be related to stunting among children younger than 5 years old. I find little support for the predominant hypothesis that economic inequality as measured by a Gini index is an important predictor of individual health. Instead, I find that the difference between a household's wealth and the mean household wealth in the community is the measure of economic inequality that is most closely related to stunting in these countries. In particular, a 1 standard deviation increase in household wealth relative to the community mean is associated with a 30–32 percent decrease in the odds of stunting in Bangladesh and a 16–21 percent decrease in the odds of stunting in Kenya.
 
Theoretical and empirical results suggest that there are externalities to childbearing, but those results usually assume that these externalities accrue uniformly within a homogeneous population. We advance this argument by developing separate estimates of the fiscal externalities associated with parents—those who devote time or material resources to minor children—and nonparents. Our analysis uses data from the US Panel Study of income Dynamics on the age profiles of taxes paid and publicly funded benefits consumed by parents and nonparents, together with a previously developed intertemporal economic-demographic accounting model. The accounting framework takes into account the net fiscal impacts of future generations as well as the present population. Our findings indicate that, with a 3 percent discount rate, parents produce a substantial net fiscal externality, about $217,000 in 2009 dollars. This is equivalent to a lifetime annuity of nearly $8,100 per year beginning at age 18. The results are sensitive to both the discount rate used and the proportion of parents within the cohort.
 
Between 1970 and 1990, China experiencoed a rapid and sharp fertility decline-from total fertility rates of approximately six births to two. The degree to which Chinese fertility has continued to fall after 1990 is controversial. We use survey data from the 1997 National Population and Reproductive Health Survey and from the 2001 Reproductive Health and Family Planning Survey to document recent trends in Chinese fertility. Our estimates provide further evidence that China's fertility is well below-replacement level at the turn of the twenty-first century-with TFR levels of approximately 1.5 children per woman. Trends in parity-specific cohort fertility by age also suggest below replacement completed fertility for cohorts still in the childbearing years. In the article's second section, we identify key components of low period fertility in order to frame our discussion of two questions: 1) in what ways is Chinese low fertility different from/similar to that in other low-fertility countries? And 2) what are the likely future trends in Chinese fertility? Copyright (c) 2009 The Population Council, Inc..
 
The article challenges the notion that below-replacement fertility and its local variation in China are primarily attributable to the government's birth planning policy. Data from the 2000 census and provincial statistical yearbooks are used to compare fertility in Jiangsu and Zhejiang, two of the most developed provinces in China, to examine the relationship between socioeconomic development and low fertility. The article demonstrates that although low fertility in China was achieved under the government's restrictive one-child policy, structural changes brought about by socioeconomic development and ideational shifts accompanying the new wave of globalization played a key role in China's fertility reduction.
 
America is a religious nation. The vast majority of Americans, when asked, profess a belief in God and affirm that religion is at least "fairly important" in their lives (Myers 2000: 285); about 60 percent of the population report membership in a religious organization and 45 percent state that they attend religious services at least monthly (Sherkat and Ellison 1999). Most American adults are currently married and almost all will marry at some time in their lives. About two-thirds of children live with their married (biological or adoptive) parents ( U.S. Census Bureau 2001). And marriage and a happy family life are almost universal goals for young adults.
 
This article argues that looking solely for the immediate causes of reproductive change may distort our understanding of policy options by failing to take into account the historical and cultural factors that affect not only the impact of policies and programs but their very nature and existence. The article examines the historical origins and spread of "modern" ideas in Bangladesh and the state of West Bengal in India. It concludes that a colonial history in which education and modernization processes took hold very early among the elites in the larger Bengal region was paradoxically accompanied by a strong allegiance to the Bengali language. This strong sense of language identity has facilitated and reinforced the diffusion of modern ideas both within and between the two Bengali-speaking regions. Thus, to understand the fertility decline in Bangladesh, for example, one needs to look also at cultural boundaries. In this case, the cultural commonality through language facilitates the spread of new ideas across the two Bengals. In turn, the strong sense of language identity has facilitated mass mobilization more easily and intensely within the two Bengals. Shaped by these processes, Bangladesh and West Bengal today are more amenable to social change than many other parts of South Asia and the Middle East. Copyright 2000 by The Population Council, Inc..
 
We present new probabilistic forecasts of the timing of the world's population reaching 8 billion, the world's peak population, and the date at which one-third or more of the world's population would be 60+ years old. The timing of these milestones, as well as the timing of the Day of 7 Billion, is uncertain. We compute that the 60 percent prediction interval for the Day of 8 Billion is between 2024 and 2033. Our figures show that there is around a 60 percent chance that one-third of the world's population would be 60+ years old in 2100. In the UN 2010 medium variant, that proportion never reaches one-third. As in our past forecasts (Lutz et al. 2001, 2008), we find the chance that the world's population will peak in this century to be around 84 percent and the timing of that peak to be highly uncertain. Focal days, like the Day of 7 Billion, play a role in raising public awareness of population issues, but they give a false sense of the certainty of our knowledge. The uncertainty of the timing of demographic milestones is not a constant of nature. Understanding the true extent of our demographic uncertainty can help motivate governments and other agencies to make the investments necessary to reduce it.
 
Life expectancy is higher in Japan than in the United States. We compared the prevalence of clinically recognized risk factors in the two countries to explore the possibility that differences in these likely precursors to disease and death are linked to the paths to higher mortality for Americans. We found that American men and women have higher levels of total biological risk than the Japanese, particularly for risk factors included in the metabolic syndrome. A significant difference between the two countries is the higher prevalence of overweight among Americans. On the other hand, measured blood pressure appears more favorable among Americans. A larger proportion of Americans use prescription drugs, which results in lowered levels of measured biological risk. There are large differences in the prevalence of a number of risk factors between American and Japanese women less than age 40; this could mean that Americans develop biological risk earlier in life or that the differences are growing larger in more recent cohorts. Copyright (c) 2008 The Population Council, Inc..
 
Top-cited authors
Hans-Peter Kohler
  • University of Pennsylvania
Peter Mcdonald
  • University of Melbourne
José Antonio Ortega
  • Universidad de Salamanca
Douglas Massey
  • Princeton University
Tomas Sobotka
  • Austrian Academy of Sciences (OeAW)