Reproductive behavior in the context of global population
American Psychologist 58(3): 197-204
Publication date: 2003
In 1900, the world's population was estimated at about 1.6 billion. With improved health and a youthful population, the world's total population more than tripled to 6 billion by 1999. There is consensus that the world's population will reach about 8.9 billion by 2050. Despite the persistent growth of population, the reproductive behavior of individuals and couples has changed significantly over the past 50 years with smaller families and lower fertility becoming the norm in many countries. Psychology not only may provide the theoretical frameworks and empirical insights into reproductive behavior but also can foster ways in which the debate on these highly personal issues can be productive for the welfare of people around the world.