Journal Article

Family planning as an economic investment

Family planning-the provision of the information and services people need to determine for themselves the number and spacing of their children-has always been a controversial and sensitive subject in public policy. We briefly review the evolution of the population policy environment over the past half-century, before focusing on the critical years since the mid-1990s when international support for family planning declined sharply. Our main argument is that investments in family planning are highly cost effective because they have powerful poverty reduction effects in addition to providing health and human rights benefits.