Recent changes in population structures can have a major impact on human welfare and the environment.
Many developing countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, continue to face rapid population growth and other barriers to social and economic development. The poorest parts of the world will see continued population growth of more than 70 million per year. The population of sub-Saharan Africa is expected to increase by more than 1 billion by 2050. High unemployment and inequality among rapidly growing young populations are contributing to poor economic prospects. In the developed world, very low fertility and rising longevity are resulting in rapid population aging. This will increase the cost of social security and health care for the elderly to unsustainable levels unless benefits are cut and/or taxes are raised.
Council research documents the link between population and development and explores the consequences of population growth on societies, families, and individuals. We assist developing-country governments in identifying appropriate population policies to benefit their population and reach their national goals. This includes family planning programs to reduce unwanted pregnancy and investments in girls' education to reduce high desired family size and delay age of marriage.