News Selection – World Population
Recent news chosen to illustrate and update Tread Softly briefings on World Population.
President Trump’s Global Gag Rule endangers lives in Africa
15/8/2018: US President Donald Trump reintroduced and expanded the Global Gag Rule to curb access to abortion services. A decision taken in far-away Washington has dire implications for African women. Source: DW
Tread Softly Comment: Worrying early signs that the impact of the Trump administration's reintroduction of the Global Gag Rule could become devastating in Africa. Health clinics closing, unaffordable medical fees and rising numbers of unplanned pregnancies are all indicators that the greatly enlarged scope of the Rule may derail recent years of progress in reproductive health. Relevant Briefing: Opposition to Family Planning
Nigeria’s population as a blessing
25/4/2018: The British High Commissioner to Nigeria has argued that the country's rate of population growth may create a demographic disaster rather than dividend. A local editorial responds with a more positive view.
Cambodia requires funding for 2019 census
12/4/2018: Development partners covered most of the costs of Cambodia's 2008 population census. The 2018 census is already delayed by a year and there have been no donor commitments, presumably on account of the country's declining standards of governance.
Interview with Paul Ehrlich
22/3/2018: Fifty years after the publication of his controversial book, The Population Bomb, biologist Paul Ehrlich warns overpopulation and overconsumption are driving us over the edge.
Population policies and fertility convergence
6/2/2018: The world's average total fertility rate declined from over five children per woman in 1960 to 2.5 in 2013. The transformation has not been limited to wealthy countries. Should family planning strategies or economic growth take the credit?
Trump policies undermine global targets for family planning
9/7/2017: As the London summit called to accelerate global family planning gets under way, latest figures show that plans to help more than 100 million women to access contraception are way off target.
World population to hit 8bn in 2023
21/6/2017: Latest UN estimates predict that the world’s population will break through the 8 billion mark in 2023. Despite further projected growth to 9.8 billion by 2050, the population of most European countries is expected to decline.
Africa’s population boom: burden or opportunity?
15/5/2017: Africa’s population is the fastest growing in the world, with its share of working-age individuals relative to the non-working-age population likely to increase. This should be good news for economies but the outcome is far from certain.
Trump administration halts money to UN population fund
4/4/2017: The UN population fund (UNFPA) has denied the allegation of the US State Department that its programmes countenance coercive abortion. These are the grounds cited for withholding US aid funds from the organisation.
Pakistan to conduct first census in 19 years
2/3/2017: The World Bank estimates Pakistan's population at 188.9 million but the country still uses the official 1998 figure of 134.7 million. An overdue census will resolve the confusion, provided politicians don't interfere.