The Population Council , August 25, 2006

The Political Economy of Global Population Change, 1950-2050

A New Book Exploring the International Political Dimensions of the Population Explosion and Its Aftermath

NEW YORK (24 August 2006) - The demographic transformation of the world in the 100 years from 1950 will have been marked both by a vast expansion in human numbers and by the emergence of a low-fertility, highly urbanized, and increasingly elderly world population. In the decades before that eventual outcome, however, differences in the timing of change give rise to striking contrasts in demographic conditions across countries and regions- in relative population sizes, in dependency burdens, in the pace of rural exodus and city growth, and in international migration pressures. Interacting with inequalities in economic performance and with mounting environmental threats, these demographic contrasts are an entrenched source of international tension and political conflict. The resulting challenges posed for national governments and international institutions, and the responses those bodies have arrived at or must now formulate, are the subject of the new volume The Political Economy of Global Population Change.

The essays assembled in this book, a supplement to the Population Council's journal Population and Development Review, take up major components of this subject-looking both to the experience of the second half of the twentieth century and forward to 2050. Among the topics treated:

* The history of national and international political responses to
high fertility and rapid population growth;
* Policy implications of population-linked changes in the natural
and built environments;
* Past and prospective problems of managing international
migration in low- or ultra-low-fertility societies; and
* Demographic impediments to the future course of economic
globalization and international factor mobility.

Other essays give particular attention to the situations and perspectives of the two demographic giants-and emerging economic heavyweights-India and China; to Europe's predicament in confronting low fertility and population decline in the face of rising immigration pressures; and to Africa's situation, combining a heavy burden of disease, still-rapid population growth, and deep problems of governance.

The volume's contributing authors represent the disciplines of history, economics, political science, and demography. The editors are Paul Demeny, Distinguished Scholar and editor, Population and Development Review, and Geoffrey McNicoll, senior associate, Policy Research Division, both at the Population Council. The complete table of contents can be found online at

Financial support for The Political Economy of Global Population Change was provided by the Rockefeller Foundation.

Population and Development Review seeks to advance knowledge of the interrelationships between population and socioeconomic development and provides a forum for discussion of related issues of public policy.

To order this book call +1 212 339 0514; fax +1 212 755 6052; or e-mail You may also order online at Payment of $21.00 must accompany the order and may be made by credit card (American Express, Visa, or MasterCard; include the name of cardholder and the expiration date), or by check or money order in US dollars and drawn on a US bank, payable to the Population Council. Single copies are available free of charge to individuals and institutions involved in reproductive health or population sciences in developing countries.

The Population Council ( is an international, nonprofit, nongovernmental research organization that seeks to improve the well-being and reproductive health of current and future generations around the world and to help achieve a humane, equitable, and sustainable balance between people and resources. The Council conducts biomedical, social science, and public health research and helps build research capacities in developing countries. Established in 1952, the Council is
governed by an international board of trustees. Its New York headquarters supports a global network of regional and country offices.

Media contacts
Melissa May, APR: +1 212 339 0525
Diane Rubino: +1 212 339 0617

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