Is demographic change the key to development?

This article is part of the World Economic Forum’s Geostrategy platform

Last year, 2018, marked the 60th anniversary of a landmark publication by a pair of academic social scientists who first recognized the close relationship between population age structure (the distribution of a country’s population, by age) and development, writes Richard Cincotta in the Wilson Center’s New Security BeatDoes demographic change set the pace of development?    [to read full article, click here on MORE]

[Graph on left]  The statistical method used to produce the age-structural timelines (logistic regression) shown here, works with categorical data, rather than individual data points. So, to show the pace of development on age-structural timelines, each of the three basic transitions—child survival, educational attainment, and income—are divided into a series of consecutive categories.

For example, the income transition (c., bottom graph) is represented by the World Bank’s low, lower-medium, upper-medium, and high-income categories. Similarly, the child survival transition (a.) is divided into five survival categories, and the educational attainment transition (b.) into five attainment categories.

Unlike historic timelines, each age-structural timeline is spanned by a series of curves. Each curve shows when—in terms of median age—countries are likely to achieve that category. The next curve (to the right in the series) shows how rapidly, in terms of progress in median age, countries are likely to move into the next higher category.

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Does Demography Set the Pace for Development

This year, 2018, marks the 60th anniversary of a landmark publication by a pair of academic social scientists who first recognized the close relationship between population age structure (the distribution of a country’s population, by age) and development. In Population Growth and Development in Low Income Countries (Princeton U. Press, 1958), demographer Ansley Coale (1917-2002) and economist Edgar M. Hoover (1907-1992) theorized that eventual declines in fertility would transform developing-country age structures. Coale and Hoover demonstrated that these newly transformed age structures would exhibit larger shares of citizens in the working ages, and smaller shares of dependent children and seniors. This transition, they argued, would someday help lift countries with youthful populations in Asia, Latin America, and Africa out of the low-income bracket. [read more … ]

To read the essay on New Security Beat, click here.   To download the essay, click here.

 

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Demography: A Development Perspective

Security and Development in Global Politics: A Critical Comparison

Joanna Spear & Paul Williams, eds., Georgetown U. Press, 2012.

This excellent collection of articles on development and security has found its way into university classrooms. It contains two articles on politics, development, and demography that (I think) are essential reading for those interested in economic and political demography (the second article is downloadable from this website):

Goldstone, J. 2012. “Demography: A Security Perspective.” Pp. 271-289 in Security and Development in Global Politics: A Critical Comparison, edited by J. Spear and P.D. Williams. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.

Cincotta, R.P. 2012. “Demography: A Development Perspective.” Pp. 291-310 in Security and Development in Global Politics: A Critical Comparison, edited by J. Spear and P.D. Williams. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press. [Download this extensive review of research on Demography and Development  here]

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Pakistan’s Health and Demography

View the post, Pakistan’s Health and Demography, originally published on Arms Control Wonk. Another version of this review and commentary is published on The New Security Beat, entitled Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey Shows Slow Progress.

How well did Islamabad measure up in its latest Demographic and Health Survey? Not well, at all. The PDHS results are a disappointment for Pakistan’s public health professionals and women’s health advocates, and they warn of increasingly difficult conditions for rural service delivery. To some health program analysts, the results reflect the low priority given to public health and family planning for decades by Pakistan’s central government.

Read more … 

Iran: Taking Aim at Low Fertility and Women’s Mobility

Read “Iran: Taking Aim at Low Fertility and Women’s Mobility” published by the Foreign Policy Research Institute, in Philadelphia (PA, USA).

Unlike prior policies that sought to eradicate vestiges of pre-revolution Iran, the government’s most recent actions alter social conditions that were encouraged during much of the Islamic Republic’s three decades of existence: a widespread small-family norm, and gender equality in education. In the ideologically charged political ecology of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei’s Iran, such conditions have been deemed “un-Islamic.”

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