Research Reports - Population and Development Interrelationships


Our views of the real world can be summarized in terms of this population and development interaction model. While this may not be the only way to do it, this model is useful in the sense that: (1) it shows the relationship and population and development factors, and (2) it distinguishes between processes and outcomes.

Starting with the population processes - fertility, mortality and migration. These processes lead to outcomes - population size; age / sex structure or the distribution of the population by age and sex; and spatial distribution or the distribution of population in various regions or various areas. These population outcomes affect in many different ways the various development processes, such as consumption of goods and services ( e.g., food, health, education and housing ), savings and investment behavior, public expenditure patterns, utilization of human, physical and natural resources, etc.

For example, if government provides for primary schooling, and the school-age population increases, then government might have to spend more to accommodate this larger population of school-age children. In a very simple sense, that is how population outcomes affect development processes.

Sometimes  the relationship can be a bit more complex than that. Other processes include utilization of resources - utilization of land that affects the productivity of land as well as the environment; utilization or non-utilization of labor, leading to levels of employment, unemployment and underemployment; and utilization of capital and technology. All these processes, in turn, lead to development outcomes which, more or less, indicate the extent to which we are achieving our development objectives.

These outcomes could be expressed in terms of income or its distribution, levels of employment, educational, health and nutritional status and even environmental quality, which might be affected  by either extensive, excessive or improper use of land and other natural resources. These socioeconomic outcomes, in turn, also affect the very population processes of fertility, mortality and migration that we started out with

In general, there is an interaction between population factors on one hand, and development factors on the other, in terms of the interaction of their processes and outcomes.

Source: Training Module on Integrated Population and Development Planning. Integrated Population and Development Planning Project. NEDA. 1993


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