United Nations

E/CN.9/1995/2


Economic and Social Council

 Distr. GENERAL
17 January 1995

ORIGINAL: ENGLISH


Population Commission
Twenty-eighth session
21 February-2 March 1995
Item 3 (b) of the provisional agenda*


      REVIEW OF POPULATION TRENDS, POLICIES AND PROGRAMMES:
        MONITORING OF WORLD POPULATION TRENDS AND POLICIES

      Concise report on the monitoring of world population trends
                         and policies

               Report of the Secretary-General

                            SUMMARY

      The Population Division of the Department for Economic and
Social Information and Policy Analysis of the United Nations
Secretariat has been undertaking a series of biennial reviews of
population trends and policies pursuant to a recommendation of the
World Population Plan of Action adopted at Bucharest in 1974, which
was reaffirmed by the International Conference on Population at
Mexico City in 1984.  At its twenty-seventh session, held in March
1994, the Population Commission requested the Secretary-General to
prepare an addendum to the eighth concise report on the monitoring
of population trends and policies, which was before it at that
session (E/CN.9/1994/2), bearing in mind the relatively short time
span between the Commission's twenty-seventh and twenty-eighth
sessions.  The purpose of the present report is to reflect the
latest additional information on world population trends and
policies and the relationships between population and the
environment.

      Section I provides a summary of the latest information about
population size and growth, mortality, fertility, population
distribution and international migration in all countries (paras.
1-106).  Section II examines the linkages between population and
the environment, focusing on population and land-carrying capacity
(paras. 107-112).


                           CONTENTS


                                                  Paragraphs  Page

  I.  POPULATION TRENDS AND POLICIES ...........    1 - 106     4

      A.  Population size and growth ...........    1 - 22      4

      B.  Mortality ............................   23 - 46     11

      C.  Fertility ............................   47 - 69     19

      D.  Population distribution ..............   70 - 85     27

      E.  International migration ..............   86 - 106    33

 II.  POPULATION AND THE ENVIRONMENT:  
      LAND-CARRYING
      CAPACITY .................................  107 - 112    40

                          Tables

  1.  World population, past estimates and 
      medium-variant projections ...........................    4

  2.  Population growth rate of the world, more developed 
      and less developed regions, and major areas ..........    7

  3.  Governments' view of population growth rate, 1994 ....   10

  4.  Estimates of life expectancy, infant mortality 
      and child mortality for major areas and regions 
      of the world, for periods between 1990 and 1995. .....   13

  5.  Governments' views of acceptability of mortality 
      level, by level of development, 1993 .................   16

  6.  Estimated fertility rates and percentage change, 
      world major areas and regions, 1980-1985, 1985-1990 
      and 1990-1995 ........................................   21

  7.  Percentage of couples currently using specific 
      contraceptive methods, by region. .....................  22

  8.  Population growth rate of urban and rural areas 
      of the world and its major regions ...................   30

  9.  The 15 largest urban agglomerations in the world 
      in 1994 and as projected in 2015 ......................   31

 10.  Key indicators about trends in migrant stock, by 
      region, 1965, 1975 and 1985 ...........................   35

 11.  Governments' policy towards the level of 
      immigration, 1986-1994 ................................   38


                    CONTENTS (continued)


                                                              Page

                                           Figures

  I.  World population growth, 1950-2050 ...................    5

 II.  Average annual increase of population, 
      world and more developed and less developed 
      regions, 1950-2050 ...................................    6

III.  Deaths by age, 1990-1995 .............................   15

 IV.  Percentage of population living in urban areas, 
      in 1994 and as projected in 2025 .....................   29


      I.  POPULATION TRENDS AND POLICIES

           A.  Population size and growth 

       1.  Trends


1.   At mid-1994, world population stood at 5.63 billion persons
(table 1).   During the preceding 12 months, population grew by 86
million persons, and is expected to grow by an additional 87
million during the next 12 months.  Currently, 4.47 billion persons
- 79 per cent of the world population - live in the less developed
regions.  The total population size in the more developed regions
is 1.16 billion. 

      Table 1.  World population, past estimates
                and medium-variant projections  

           컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴퀼
              Year                  Population (billions)
           컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴퀼

              1950                           2.52

              1990                           5.28

              1994                           5.63

              2000                           6.16

              2015                           7.47

              2025                           8.29

              2050                           9.83
        컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴퀼

           Source:  World Population Prospects:  The 1994 Revision 
                    (United Nations publication, 
                    forthcoming).


2.   Between 1990 and 1994, world population grew at 1.57 per cent
per annum, significantly below the 1.73 per cent per annum at which
population had been growing for the past decade and a half.  The
current population growth rate is the lowest recorded since the
Second World War and marks the resumption of the trends of
declining growth rates that prevailed from the mid-1960s to the
mid-1970s.

3.   United Nations medium-fertility-variant projections indicate
that the population growth rate will continue declining, to 1.33
per cent per annum in 2000-2010, 1.15 per cent in 2010-2020, 0.95
per cent in 2020-2030, 0.72 per cent in 2030-2040 and 0.54 per cent
in 2040-2050.  Consequently, the world population is projected to
reach 7.5 billion in 2015 and 9.8 billion in 2050 (figure I). 

      Figure I.  World population growth, 1950-2050

      (Estimates and medium-, high- and low-fertility variants)


     Source:  World Population Prospects:  The 1994 Revision
              (United Nations publication, forthcoming).

4.   Despite the decline in the rate of growth, the annual
increment to the world population will remain steady between 86
million and 88 million per annum through 2015.  The annual
increment will decline thereafter to 75 million between 2025 and
2030 and 49 million between 2045 and 2050 (figure II).


        Figure II.  Average annual increase of population, world
and more developed and less developed regions,
1950-2050



     Source:  World Population Prospects:  1994 Revision (United
              Nations publication, forthcoming).

5.   Between 1950 and 1994, the population of the less developed
regions increased by 161 per cent compared to an increase of 43 per
cent for the more developed regions.  Between 1990 and 1995, the
population of the less developed regions grew at 1.9 per cent per
annum.  During that period, the population of the more developed
regions grew at 0.4 per cent per annum (table 2).  According to the
medium-variant projections, the population of the less developed
regions will increase by a further 93 per cent between 1994 and
2050.  The population of the more developed regions is expected to
increase by 4 per cent between 1994 and 2050 - the combination of
an increase of 6.5 per cent between 1994 and 2025 and a projected
population decline of 2.5 per cent between 2025 and 2050.  By
2045-2050, the population growth rate is projected to be 0.6 per
cent for the less developed regions and actually negative for the
more developed regions.

Table 2.  Population growth rate of the world, more developed and
          less developed regions, and major areas




                           1950-1955       1990-1995      2045-2050

World                          1.8             1.6            0.5

More developed regions         1.2             0.4           -0.1

Less developed regions         2.1             1.9            0.6

Least developed countries      1.9             2.8            1.1

Africa                         2.2             2.8            1.1

Asia                           1.9             1.6            0.4

Europe                         1.0             0.1           -0.3

Latin America and 
 the Caribbean                 2.7             1.8            0.5

Northern America               1.8             1.1            0.1

Oceania                        2.2             1.5            0.4



     Source:  World Population Prospects:  The 1994 Revision
              (United Nations publication, forthcoming).


6.   The substantial consequences of the diversity of population
growth rates is perhaps best illustrated by examining the average
annual increments to the total population of the more developed and
the less developed regions.  Between 1950 and 1955, the annual
increment of world population was 47 million persons per annum.  Of
this total, 21 per cent originated in the more developed regions
and 79 per cent in the less developed regions.  By 1990-1995, 5 per
cent of the annual increment originated in the more developed
regions, while 95 per cent originated in the less developed
regions.  And by 2045-2050, the population of the more developed
regions is expected to be actually declining in size so that all of
the net population increment will be accounted for by the less
developed regions.

7.   The 47 least developed countries are characterized by higher
fertility, higher mortality and higher population growth rates than
the other countries of the less developed regions.  Between 1950
and 1994, the population of these countries increased by 191 per
cent, compared to 158 per cent for the other countries in the less
developed regions.  And by 1994, 559 million persons lived in the
least developed countries.  Between 1990 and 1995, the population
growth rate of the least developed countries was 2.8 per cent per
annum, a full percentage point greater than that of the other
countries in the less developed regions.  In fact, during that
period, the 47 least developed countries accounted for 18 per cent
of total world population growth.

8.   Population distribution and population growth differ markedly
among the major areas of the world, both historically and
currently.  Between 1950 and 1994, the population of Africa grew
from 224 million to 708 million persons.  Africa's average increase
of 2.7 per cent per year (217 per cent growth in total) represented
the fastest rate of population growth during that 44-year period. 
The populations of Latin America and Asia have also grown at more
than 2 per cent per annum since 1950.  Growing at a rate of 2.4 per
cent, the population of Latin America rose from 166 million in 1950
to 474 million in 1994.  The population of Asia has grown at 2 per
cent per annum from 1950 to 1994 and totalled 3.4 billion in 1994. 
The population of Europe grew by 0.6 per cent per annum.  Europe is
the only major area whose growth rate was under 1 per cent per
annum during the period 1950-1994.

9.   Africa continues to exhibit the most rapid current population
growth rate - 2.8 per cent per annum in 1990-1995.  Latin America
and the Caribbean is growing a full percentage point slower (at 1.8
per cent per annum).  Asia is growing at 1.6 per cent per annum,
Oceania at 1.5 per cent and Northern America at 1.1 per cent.

10.  The major area whose population is growing slowest is Europe,
where population is nearly stationary.  The four regions of Europe
have experienced very different recent trends in population growth.

Western Europe is exhibiting the highest annual population growth
rate among the more developed regions - 0.55 per cent per annum
during 1990-1995.  The current growth rate is higher than that
exhibited during 1980-1985 (0.14 per cent) or 1985-1990 (0.49 per
cent); the rising growth rate for Western Europe is mainly due to
increasing numbers of migrants entering the region (particularly
into Germany).  In contrast, the population growth rate of Eastern
Europe turned negative during the period 1990-1995 - those have
been years of out-migration, sharp fertility declines and rising or
stagnant mortality for a number of Eastern European countries. 
Southern Europe has exhibited a downward trend in the rate of
population growth during the past decade and a half; from an
average annual rate of growth of 0.8 per cent per annum in
1975-1980, the population growth rate declined to 0.4 per cent in
1980-1985, 0.3 per cent in 1985-1990 and 0.1 per cent in 1990-1995.

The dramatic decline in total fertility rate of Southern Europe
from 2.3 children per woman in 1975-1980 to 1.4 children in
1990-1995 has been a key factor in the region's slow rate of
growth.  The population growth rate in Northern Europe stands at
0.3 per cent per annum, similar to that in 1985-1990 and slightly
higher than the 0.2 per cent per annum exhibited in 1975-1985. 
These trends are consistent with movements in fertility; data show
that fertility levels bottomed out in Northern Europe at 1.81
children per woman in 1975-1985 and rose slightly to 1.84 in
1985-1995.

11.  Of the 86 million persons added annually to the world
population during 1990-1995, 74 million (88 per cent) are being
added in Asia and Africa.  Of those two major areas, 55 million (63
per cent) are being added to Asia (in which 13 million are in China
and 17 million in India).

12.  The medium-variant projections indicate that the population of
Africa will increase by more than 200 per cent between 1994 and
2050.  The projected 2.1 billion people in 2050 will be three times
its 1994 population and almost 10 times its 1950 population.  The
projected African population growth rate is far greater than that
projected for any other major area.  Between 1994 and 2050, the
population of Latin America and the Caribbean is projected to
increase by 77 per cent, the population of Asia by 69 per cent and
the population of Northern America by 34 per cent.  The population
of Europe is projected to decline by 7 per cent between 1994 and
2050.


      2.  Policies

13.  The International Conference on Population and Development,
held in Cairo in September 1994, fuelled a process of increased
political attention to population issues.  Many Governments have
clarified their positions in regard to population issues. 
Moreover, Governments of the many newly independent countries have
begun to formulate policies in regard to demographic matters, after
a period of adjustment and stabilization during which demographic
issues were not a priority.  

14.  Another important element of change has been the onset of a
decline in population growth in many countries that have been
implementing policies to reduce population growth for a number of
years.  The positive results of those policies have induced many
Governments to revise their policies on population growth and to
readjust their objectives for future years.  

15.  The combined effect of these new elements has brought about
changes in Governments' perceptions of population growth.  As of
1994, 22 countries out of 190 (11.6 per cent) considered their
population growth rates to be too low.  Of the remaining countries,
90 considered their rate of population growth to be satisfactory
and 78 considered it to be too high.  Those figures show an
interesting evolution over the past two decades; in particular, the
decennial trend in regard to the number of Governments considering
population growth to be too high and those considering population
growth to be satisfactory appears to have been disrupted (table 3).

While the percentage of countries that consider their rates of
population growth to be too low has continued to decline, the
number of Governments that view population growth as too high has
decreased and the number of Governments that view population growth
as satisfactory increased for the first time since 1974. 

16.  It is among the developing countries that most policy changes
occurred.  For the first time, a number of countries adjusted their
population policy to respond to observed declines in population
growth resulting in part from successful population policies.  As
a result, although the majority of developing countries still
consider their rates of population growth to be too high, a number
of countries have changed their position and now consider their
population growth rates to be satisfactory.  Among the developed
countries, there has been little change.  However, an increasing
number of countries consider their rate of population growth to be
too low and are concerned about declining fertility and population
ageing.


   Table 3.  Governments' view of population growth rate, 1994

                        (Percentage)


Year       Too low    Satisfactory    Too high    Total    Number 
                                                            of
                                                         countries

1974        25.0         47.4          27.6       100.0     156
1983        18.5         45.2          36.3       100.0     168
1986        16.5         45.3          38.2       100.0     170
1989        14.7         45.3          40.0       100.0     170
1991        13.8         43.7          42.5       100.0     174
1994        11.6         47.4          41.1       100.0     190


     Source:  The Population Policy Data Bank maintained by the
Population Division of the Department for Economic and Social
Information and Policy Analysis of the United Nations Secretariat.


17.  In Africa, the overall trends have remained largely unchanged,
with an increasing number of countries adopting population policies
and intensifying their efforts to reduce population growth. 
Particularly interesting are the cases of Namibia, the Sudan and
the United Republic of Tanzania, countries that officially
inaugurated policies to reduce population growth. 

18.  Another interesting case is that of Tunisia, the first country
in Africa to change its position on population growth as a result
of the impressive progress achieved through its population
policies.  The Government is now satisfied with the declining trend
of the country's rate of population growth. 

19.  In Asia, although a significant number of countries still
consider their population growth rates to be too high, an
increasing number of countries indicate satisfaction with their
population growth rates.  The most important change, in terms of
the absolute size of the population concerned, is that of China. 
The positive results of China's population policy led the
Government for the first time to officially report that its rate of
population growth is satisfactory, although it warned that more
rapid population growth could easily resume if the Government's
current policies were relaxed.  The Republic of Korea has also
achieved impressive results and now views its population growth
rate as satisfactory.

20.  In Europe, an increasing number of countries are concerned
with issues of ageing and population decline.  Interesting policy
changes occurred in Portugal and Romania, which now consider their
population growth rates to be too low, and in Croatia, which
inaugurated a policy to increase its rate of population growth
through measures to increase fertility.

21.  In Latin America, as in Asia, an increasing number of
countries consider their population growth rates to be
satisfactory.  This trend is reinforcing the existing geographical
pattern, according to which mainly the small, densely populated
countries in the Caribbean, and a few countries in Central America,
consider population growth to be too high, whereas almost all
countries in South America consider their population growth to be
satisfactory.  As a result, the majority of countries in Latin
America (55 per cent) consider their population growth rates to be
satisfactory. 

22.  Little change occurred in the policies in the rest of the
world.  In Northern America, the United States of America and
Canada remain satisfied with their population growth rates, as do
Australia and New Zealand in Oceania.  The majority of developing
countries in Oceania consider their rates of population growth to
be too high.  An interesting exception is Tonga, where high rates
of emigration led the Government to revise its policy designed to
reduce the country's population growth rate.  In Eastern Europe,
four countries, Belarus, Bulgaria, Hungary and Ukraine consider
their population growth rates to be too low.  In the former USSR,
the majority of the Governments are satisfied with their current
population growth rates.


      B.  Mortality

       1.  Trends

23.  Mortality is continuing to decline in most countries of the
world.  At the global level, life expectancy at birth reached 64.4
years in 1990-1995, an increase of 6.5 years since 1970-1975
(United Nations, forthcoming a).  Life expectancy at birth in the
more developed regions was 74.4 years, more than 12 years higher
than in the less developed regions where it was 62.3 years, which
was in turn 11 years higher than the average life expectancy, 51.2
years, for the least developed countries (table 4).  Life
expectancy is highest in the major area constituting Northern
America (76.1 years), followed by Europe (72.9 years) and Oceania
(72.8 years) and lowest in Africa (53.0 years).  Asia and Latin
America were in between, with life expectancy of 64.5 years and
68.5 years, respectively.  In 1990-1995, there are four regions
with an average life expectancy of below 60 years:  Eastern Africa;
Middle Africa; Western Africa; and Melanesia.  The lowest life
expectancies in the world are in Sierra Leone (39 years),
Afghanistan (43 years) and Guinea-Bissau (43 years).  It is
estimated that, on average, life expectancy above 75 years has been
reached in Northern Europe, Southern Europe, Western Europe,
Northern America and Australia and New Zealand.  Japan has the
highest life expectancy in the world (79.5 years), followed by Hong
Kong at 78.6 years and Sweden and Ireland, both at 78.2 years.

24.  The gap in life expectancy at birth between Eastern, Middle
and Western Africa on the one hand, and Northern and Southern
Africa, on the other, has increased over the past 20 years.  The
former regions have registered only a five-to-seven-year increase
in life expectancy over the 20-year period, whereas in Northern and
Southern Africa life expectancy rose by about 10 years over the
period.  Eastern, Middle and Western Africa have been worst hit by
the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) epidemic, which
accounts in part for the widening gap in life expectancy.

25.  Among the regions in Europe, life expectancy increased by
about three to five years between 1970-1975 and 1990-1995, except
in Eastern Europe where life expectancy declined by about half a
year between 1970-1975 and 1990-1995, from 69.4 years in 1970-1975
to 68.9 years in 1990-1995.  Already by 1980-1985, a decline of
life expectancy to 69 years was evident.  These reductions can be
largely attributed to an increase in death rates from
cardiovascular diseases (World Bank, 1993).  Between 1989 and 1993
a worsening of the situation was observed as death rates from
cardiovascular diseases, cancer, digestive diseases, infectious
diseases and external causes, including suicides and accidents, all
increased (UNICEF, 1994).  The worst affected have been men between
the ages of 20 and 59 years.

26.  Women can be expected to live about four years longer than
men.  For the world as a whole, life expectancy for men is 62.4
years, while that for women is 66.5 years (table 4).  In the more
developed regions, this male-female disparity is as high as 7.5
years, whereas in the less developed regions women live three years
longer than men.  In all the major areas of the world, except in
Northern America, the gap between male and female life expectancy
increased or stayed the same between 1970-1975 and 1990-1995.  In
Northern America, however, female life expectancy improved by four
years over the past two decades while male life expectancy improved
by five years, thereby decreasing the male-female gap from 7.7
years to 6.7 years.

27.  South-central Asia has the lowest sex differential in life
expectancy; male life expectancy is less than one year lower than
female life expectancy.  Male life expectancy in that region was
50.7 years in 1970-1975, 1.1 years higher than that for females at
that time.  Over the past 20 years, however, women made greater
improvements in life expectancy than men so that by 1990-1995,
female life expectancy was 0.7 years higher.  Eastern Europe has
the highest sex differential in life expectancy.  Women in Eastern
Europe, with a life  expectancy of 74.1 years in 1990-1995, can
expect to live 10.3 years longer than men; this differential has
increased from 8.6 years in 1970-1975.  The widening of the gap is
caused mainly by a decline in male life expectancy, from 64.8 years
in 1970-1975 to 63.8 years in 1990-1995, whereas female life
expectancy increased from 73.4 years to 74.1 years over the same
period.

       Table 4.  Estimates of life expectancy, infant mortality and
child mortality for major areas and regions of the
world, for periods between 1990 and 1995

                       Life expectancy                    Child   
                     컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴퀼               mortality
                                              Infant   (probability
                   Both                      mortality  of dying by
                   sexes   Male   Female      rate        age 5)


World               64.4    62.4    66.5        64          86
More developed
 regions            74.4    70.6    78.1        10          13
Less developed 
 regions            62.3    60.8    63.8        70          95
Least developed 
 countries          51.2    50.1    52.3       110         163

Africa              53.0    51.5    54.6        93         144
  Eastern Africa    49.7    48.2    51.1       106         160
  Middle Africa     51.3    49.7    53.0        95         149
  Northern Africa   62.2    60.9    63.5        67          87
  Southern Africa   62.6    59.8    65.6        54          86
  Western Africa    49.8    48.3    51.3        97         164

Asia                64.5    63.1    65.9        65          83
  Eastern Asia      69.7    67.6    71.9        41          44
  South-central 
   Asia             60.3    60.0    60.7        83         114
  South-eastern 
   Asia             63.6    61.7    65.5        55          71
  Western Asia      66.5    64.7    68.5        57          70

Europe              72.9    68.9    77.0        12          15
  Eastern Europe    68.9    63.8    74.1        18          21
  Northern Europe   75.7    72.7    78.7         8           9
  Southern Europe   76.2    73.0    79.3        11          14
  Western Europe    76.5    73.0    79.7         7           8

Latin America       68.5    65.9    71.2        45          56
  Caribbean         69.2    67.0    71.4        42          54
  Central America   69.9    67.1    72.8        38          50
  South America     67.9    65.2    70.6        48          60

Northern America    76.1    72.7    79.4         9          10

Oceania a/          72.8    70.2    75.5        27          34
  Australia-
  New Zealand       77.3    74.3    80.3         7           9


     Source:  World Population Prospects:  The 1994 Revision
              (United Nations publication, forthcoming).

     a/   Includes Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia.

28. The infant mortality rate for the world as a whole was
estimated to be 64 deaths per 1,000 births in 1990-1995 (table 4)
and under-five mortality (the probability of dying by age 5) was 86
per 1,000 births.  In the more developed regions, the infant
mortality rate was 10 and the probability of dying by age 5 was 13
per 1,000 births, but the corresponding rates were seven times as
large, 70 per 1,000 births and 95 per 1,000 births, respectively,
in the less developed regions.  Although the difference in infant
mortality rates between the more developed and the less developed
regions has declined from 83 points in 1970- 1975 to 60 in
1990-1995, the ratio of infant mortality in the less developed
regions to that in the more developed regions has increased from
about 5:1 in 1970-1975 to about 6:1 in 1980-1985 and has reached
7:1 in 1990-1995.

29.  During 1990-1995, infant mortality is estimated to be above 60
in two major areas:  Africa, with a rate of 93 deaths per 1,000
live births, and Asia, with 65 per 1,000 live births.  Infant
mortality rates were on average greater than 60 per 1,000 live
births in South-central Asia and in all of the African regions,
except Southern Africa.  At the other extreme, infant mortality
rates were below 10 per 1,000 in Northern Europe and Western
Europe, Northern America, and Australia and New Zealand.

30.  Although the average infant and child mortality rate for
Africa as a whole was the highest in the world during 1990-1995,
important progress has been made in the reduction of childhood
mortality rates in Africa over the past two decades.  Africa's
average infant mortality rate fell by 38 infant deaths per 1,000
births from 1970-1975 to 1990-1995, the largest absolute decrease
among all major areas in the world.  Most notable is the decline in
Northern Africa where infant mortality fell from 132 to 67 deaths
per 1,000 births.  However, there are some countries in sub-Saharan
Africa where infant and child mortality have remained virtually
stagnant or have even increased, as in Zambia during the 1980s. 
The lack of improvement in child survival in those countries is a
consequence of several contributing factors including internal
conflict, economic setbacks, drought and famine (Jolly, 1993) and
the high incidence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection
and AIDS.

31.  According to World Health Organization (WHO) reports, Africa
is still the major area most affected by the AIDS epidemic (Mertens
and others, 1994).  As of the beginning of 1994, nearly two thirds
(about 9 million adults) of all cumulative cases of HIV infection
have occurred in Africa.  However, the epidemic is expanding
rapidly in some parts of South and South-eastern Asia and, if the
current rate of infection continues, the annual number of new
infections in Asia is expected to surpass that of Africa.  WHO
estimates that there were more than 2 million AIDS cases in Africa
as of the end of 1993, constituting about 67 per cent of the total
cumulative number of cases in the world.  Thirteen per cent
occurred in the United States, 12 per cent in Latin America and the
Caribbean, and 5 per cent in Europe.  Because the epidemic started
relatively recently in Asia, only 2 per cent of the AIDS cases in
the world occurred in Asia.

32.  It is estimated that 256 million deaths will occur in the
world as a whole between 1990 and 1995.  In the more developed
regions, the majority, 72 per cent, of all deaths occur at ages 65
or over, while only 3 per cent of all deaths occur at ages 0-14
years.  In contrast, in the less developed regions, 33 per cent of
deaths occur at ages 65 or over and 37 per cent to persons aged
0-14 years.  In Africa, the combination of a young age structure
and a high level of mortality results in a large proportion of
deaths (43 per cent) occurring to children below the age of five
years (see figure III).  The age distribution of deaths in Asia and
Latin America reflects the effects of the transition from high
mortality and a young age structure to low mortality and an old age
structure.  In Asia and Latin America, one quarter and just over
one fifth, respectively, of all deaths occur at under age 5 years
and about two fifths at ages 65 years or over.  In Europe, Northern
America and Australia-New Zealand nearly three quarters of all
deaths occur at ages 65 or over, while only about 3 per cent of all
deaths occur at younger ages.


      Figure III.  Deaths by age, 1990-1995

      


       The world and major areas



       2.  Policies

33.  Despite the considerable progress that humanity has made in
combating morbidity and mortality, the percentage of countries that
consider their level of mortality to be unacceptable has decreased
very little during the period 1976-1993, from 62.8 to 62.1 (table
5).  As of 1993, 118 out of 190 countries regarded their present
level of life expectancy as unacceptable.  Those expressing such a
view constituted two thirds of the Governments in the less
developed regions and almost half (46.4 per cent) in the more
developed regions.  Among that half, two thirds were countries with
economies in transition.


     Table 5.  Governments' views of acceptability of
               mortality level, by level of development, 1993

                      (Percentage of countries)

                                                         Number of
Level of development  Acceptable  Unacceptable  Total    countries

World                    37.9         62.1      100.0      190

Developed countries      53.6         46.4      100.0       56

Developing countries     31.3         68.7      100.0      134


     Source:  The Population Policy Data Bank maintained by the
Population Division of the Department for Economic and Social
Information and Policy Analysis of the United Nations Secretariat.


34.  All of the Governments of countries where the expectation of
life is less than 50 years (23 countries in Africa and 4 in Asia)
view this condition as unacceptable.  At the other end of the
spectrum, where expectation of life is 70 years or more, the
Governments of 22 out of 74 countries still consider that
expectation of life to be unacceptable.  Obviously, the target
level of countries with regard to life expectancy is increasing.  

35.  In the developed countries, policy concerns have focused on
the health needs of the growing elderly populations and on diseases
connected with individual lifestyles and environmental conditions,
such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer.  Many
countries with economies in transition are particularly concerned
with rising mortality among infants and males in the economically
active ages.  The current health situation in those countries has
been adversely affected by the complex economic situations. 
Difficulties exist in providing adequate social protection and
health care because of structural changes in those sectors and
widespread disruption of supplies of medical equipment and
medicine.  

36.  Among the developing countries, population policies have
addressed morbidity and mortality levels, as many countries have
adopted the WHO policy of health for all by the year 2000 and
focused on the improvement of the quality and quantity of health
services; the prevention, control and treatment of major
communicable diseases; the improvement of the nutritional status of
the population, especially that of mothers and children; and
adequate production, supply and distribution of essential drugs and
vaccines.  Encouraging progress has been made in such areas as
poliomyelitis eradication; the control of respiratory infections;
and the reduction of pertussis and tetanus owing to a rapid
increase in coverage by immunization programmes. 

37.  Infectious and parasitic diseases, however, account for almost
half of all deaths occurring in the developing countries.  Large
numbers of people in Africa, Latin America, Asia and Oceania are
afflicted by malaria.  Schistosomiasis, which ranks second (after
malaria) among the major tropical diseases, is currently endemic in
76 tropical developing countries, afflicting an estimated 200
million people and threatening another 500-600 million.  Although
schistosomiasis can now be controlled, efforts are impeded by the
high cost of the drugs required to control it in relation to the
limited financial resources of the affected countries.  Diarrhoeal
diseases remain a major cause of morbidity and mortality among
infants and young children in the developing countries.

38.  According to the Seventh United Nations Population Inquiry
among Governments, 90 out of 127 countries considered current
infant mortality to be unacceptable; 73 of those countries were in
the less developed regions.  Among the countries responding to the
Seventh Inquiry, 64 have adopted quantitative targets for reducing
mortality.  For 33 countries, the target was expressed in terms of
infant mortality rate.  

39.  Child survival is closely linked to the reproductive health of
mothers.  Maternal mortality is also high in many parts of the
developing world.  In many countries, safe motherhood has been
accepted as a strategy to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality. 
The Programme of Action adopted at the International Conference on
Population and Development in Cairo in 1994 urged all Governments
and relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations
to strengthen their commitment to women's health and to deal with
the health impact of unsafe abortion.  It emphasized that
programmes to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality should
include information and reproductive health services, including
family planning.

40.  In Africa, during the past decade, war and internal strife in
many countries have disrupted desperately needed health-care
systems and supplies.  Drought, famine and poor sanitation are
other factors contributing to poor health conditions.  Forty-six of
the 53 countries in the region (86.8 per cent) consider the present
expectation of life at birth to be unacceptable.  Many Governments
have set quantitative targets for mortality levels, some planning
to reduce mortality by as much as 50 per cent by the year 2000. 
Two population groups whose mortality levels are of particular
concern in most African countries are infants and children under
the age of five, and women of child- bearing age.  Conditions or
diseases that are of major concern to the majority of countries in
Africa include cholera, respiratory infections, AIDS, malaria,
schistosomiasis and malnutrition, as well as, to a lesser extent,
complications related to pregnancy, tuberculosis, measles and
diseases of early childhood.

41.  Although many countries in Asia have had significant
improvements in health-care services, particularly in immunization,
almost two thirds (63 per cent) of Governments in the region view
their levels of mortality as unacceptable.  The region has been
experiencing a rapid rise in lifestyle- related diseases and
pressing environmental health issues.  Diseases of the heart and
vascular system pose a major health challenge in most parts of the
region.  Conditions or diseases that are of major concern to the
majority of countries include diarrhoea, respiratory infections,
nutritional problems in children, complications related to
pregnancy, communicable diseases, malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS.

42.  In Latin America, where 45 per cent of countries consider
their current levels of mortality to be unacceptable, all countries
have adopted national health policies and strategies that are
consistent with the strategy of primary care and health for all. 
However, the adjustment of those policies and strategies has been
limited by financial, human and material restrictions, as well as,
in some countries, by political and social instability.   

43.  The countries in the European region are primarily concerned
with cardiovascular diseases, cancer, malignant neoplasms and AIDS.

Many European countries have health promotion programmes aimed at
promoting healthy lifestyles and eliminating or reducing
preventable conditions. In recent years, tuberculosis has been
making a comeback in a number of Western European countries,
particularly among underprivileged groups.  All countries of
Eastern Europe, except Belarus, consider their mortality levels to
be unacceptable.  The diphtheria epidemic that began in Russia and
Ukraine in 1990 is spreading to neighbouring countries.  A surge in
deaths, particularly among adult men, has been observed in most
Eastern European countries.  In the working ages, male mortality is
four to five times higher than female mortality in all the
territories of the Russian Federation; accidents, poisoning and
injuries are reported to be first among causes of death in that age
group.

44.  In Oceania, 11 of 13 countries consider their level of
mortality as unacceptable.  Among the leading causes of death are
heart disease, malignant neoplasms, accidents and cerebrovascular
diseases; some countries also report high incidence of diarrhoeal
diseases, intestinal infectious diseases, respiratory diseases,
diabetes and sexually transmitted diseases.  In some areas,
malaria, tuberculosis, hepatitis, measles and meningitis, as well
as high perinatal mortality, are also quite common.  

45.  A health concern common to both the developed and the
developing countries is the spread of AIDS.  Of the 127 countries
for which information is available from the Seventh United Nations
Population Inquiry, 89 Governments reported that AIDS was a major
concern.  This viewpoint was expressed by 60 per cent of the
developed countries and 74 per cent of the developing countries;
121 out of 127 Governments had adopted measures to reduce AIDS. 
Many Governments have established AIDS committees and AIDS control
and prevention programmes.  Governments also have emphasized
information, education and communication programmes, training of
health workers, epidemiological surveillance of AIDS cases,
systematic testing of blood donors, promotion of the use of condoms
and screening of high-risk groups.  Some Governments, mostly in
Asia, have placed restrictions on the entry into their countries of
persons infected with the AIDS virus.

46.  In their responses to the Seventh Inquiry, as well as in
statements made at the International Conference on Population and
Development, many Governments of both the more developed and the
less developed regions expressed concern about unequal access to
health care and the resulting unequal health status among different
social, ethnic and regional groups.  The number one objective in
the area of health and mortality put forward by the Conference in
the Programme of Action was to increase the accessibility,
availability, acceptability and affordability of health-care
services and facilities to all people. 

Consequently, all countries should make access to basic health care
and health promotion the central strategies for reducing mortality
and morbidity.  As the Programme of Action declares, efforts to
ensure a longer and healthier life for all should emphasize the
reduction of morbidity and mortality differentials between males
and females as well as among geographical regions, social classes
and indigenous and ethnic groups.  


        C.  Fertility

            1.  Trends 

47.  Estimates for the decade 1980-1985 and 1990-1995 suggest that
the average total fertility rate (TFR) in the world as a whole has
continued to decline and at a somewhat faster pace during the most
recent five years than in the past.  During the decade, the world
TFR fell by 13.9 per cent, from 3.6 to 3.1 births per woman.  The
world average, however, conceals large differences in fertility
patterns experienced in different countries and regions of the
world.  Indeed, during the period 1990-1995, the average TFR for
the more developed regions was only 1.7 births per woman as
compared to 5.8 births for the group of least developed countries
(see table 6), a disparity that strongly reflects the differences
in levels of social and economic development and contraceptive
prevalence experienced in those two groups of countries.

48.  When considering the less developed regions alone, estimates
show that fertility remains relatively high in many countries. 
Fertility continues to be highest in Africa.  The African TFR in
1980-1985 was almost twice as high as in the other less developed
regions:  6.3 births per woman in Africa as compared to 3.8 in
Latin America and 3.7 in Asia.  By 1990-1995, despite a slow but
continuous decline observed in Africa, its TFR is still estimated
to be as high as 5.8, compared to 3.1 in Latin America and 3.0 in
Asia.  The small decennial decline of 7.9 per cent during that
period is less than half the decline in Asia and Latin America (see
table 6).  

49.  Within Africa, large regional differences prevail.  Middle,
Eastern and Western Africa are the three areas with the highest
fertility, where women have 6.5 births on average and where, during
the current decade, fertility barely declined:  5.8 and 3.0 per
cent respectively in Eastern and Western Africa and not at all in
Middle Africa.  Conversely, in Northern and Southern Africa, TFR is
much lower, 4.2 births per woman, a decline of 25.0 per cent (the
largest reduction in the world during the decade) and 14.0 per cent
respectively during the same time-span (see table 6).  Differences
in modernization, economic development, social change and
contraceptive use (see table 7) obviously underlie those different
patterns of fertility change.  

50.  The results from a large number of recent demographic surveys
now allow a better assessment and a better understanding of the
fertility patterns of African countries.  While in the 1970s, the
high African fertility rate was sustained by sub-Saharan countries
where fertility exceeded seven or even eight births per woman, in
the 1990s most of those countries experienced substantial fertility
declines, notably Kenya, where TFR of 8.0 in 1977/1978 fell to 5.4
in 1990-1993 and Rwanda, where TFR of 8.5 in 1978-1983 fell to 6.2
in 1989-1992.  However, most of the recent lower rates of
sub-Saharan Africa are found in countries that started their
fertility transition in the 1980s.  The sharpest reductions in TFR
were experienced in Northern Africa, notably in Algeria, where TFR
fell from 8.1 in 1970 to 4.4 in 1987-1992.  In Egypt and Morocco,
fertility also fell to levels below 5.0, and in Tunisia to as low
as 3.3 in 1992.   The lowest TFR in Africa, 2.3, is observed in
Mauritius in 1990; the highest, 7.4, actually the second highest in
the world, is in the Niger (United Nations, forthcoming a).

51.  Asia and Latin America have experienced similar rates of
fertility decline, about 18.0 per cent, during the current decade
and are expected to reach similar TFRs in 1990-1995, 3.0 and 3.1
births per woman respectively.  The subregional fertility patterns
in those two regions are, however, quite different.  In Asia, the
overall average is the result of relatively large regional
fertility differences.  The differences in TFR in 1990-1995 exceed
two births per woman, ranging from a below-replacement level of 1.9
in Eastern Asia to 4.4 and 4.1 in

Table 6.  Estimated fertility rates and percentage change,
          world major areas and regions, 1980-1985,
          1985-1990 and 1990-1995 a/
   



                      Total
                 fertility rates b/        Percentage change
               컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴
                                    1980-1985 1985-1990  1980-1985
               1980-  1985-  1990-     to         to        to
Major area and 
  region       1985   1990   1995   1985-1990 1990-1995  1990-1995


World total       3.6    3.4    3.1     -5.6       -8.8      -13.9
  More developed
    regions       1.8    1.8    1.7      0.0       -5.6       -5.6
  Less developed
    regions       4.2    3.8    3.5     -9.5       -7.9      -16.7
  Least developed
    countries     6.4    6.0    5.8     -6.3       -3.3       -9.4

Africa            6.3    6.1    5.8     -3.2       -4.9       -7.9 
  Eastern Africa  6.9    6.7    6.5     -2.9       -3.0       -5.8
  Middle Africa   6.5    6.5    6.5      0.0        0.0        0.0
  Northern Africa 5.6    4.9    4.2    -12.5      -14.3      -25.0
  Southern Africa 4.9    4.5    4.2     -8.2       -6.7      -14.3
  Western Africa  6.7    6.6    6.5     -1.5       -1.5       -3.0

Asia              3.7    3.4    3.0     -8.1      -11.8      -18.9
  Eastern Asia    2.4    2.3    1.9     -4.2      -17.4      -20.8
  South-central 
   Asia           5.0    4.5    4.1    -10.0       -8.9      -18.0
  South-eastern 
   Asia           4.2    3.7    3.3    -11.9      -10.8      -21.4
  Western Asia    5.0    4.7    4.4     -6.0       -6.4      -12.0

Europe            1.9    1.8    1.6     -5.3      -11.1      -15.8 
  Eastern Europe  2.1    2.1    1.6      0.0      -23.8      -23.8
  Northern Europe 1.8    1.8    1.8      0.0        0.0        0.0
  Southern Europe 1.8    1.6    1.4    -11.1      -12.5      -22.2
  Western Europe  1.6    1.6    1.5      0.0       -6.3       -6.3

Latin America     3.8    3.4    3.1    -10.5       -8.8      -18.4
  Caribbean       3.1    2.9    2.8     -6.5       -3.4       -9.7
  Central America 4.6    4.0    3.5    -13.0      -12.5      -23.9
  South America   3.7    3.2    3.0    -13.5       -6.3      -18.9

Northern America  1.8    1.9    2.1      5.6       10.5       16.7

Oceania           2.6    2.6    2.5      0.0       -3.8       -3.8


     Source:  World Population Prospects:  The 1994 Revision
              (United Nations publication, forthcoming), annex    
              tables A.18 and A.19.

     a/   Estimates for 1990-1995 are assumptions for the
medium-variant projections.

     b/   Number of births per woman.

     Table 7.  Percentage of couples currently using specific
contraceptive methods, by region (based on the most recent
available survey data:  average date 1990)

                      All     Modern    Sterilization        Inject
                    Methods  Methods a/  Female Male   Pill   able 
Region               (1)      (2)         (3)   (4)    (5)    (6)

               Based on couples with women in reproductive ages

World                 57       49          17    5       8      1 

Less developed 
  regions             53       48          20    5        6     1 

  Africa              18       14           1    0.1      6     2 
    Northern Africa   38       35           2    --      18     0.3

    Sub-Saharan Africa12        8           1    0.1      3     2 

  Asia and Oceania b/ 58       54          23    6        4     1 
    Eastern Asia b/   79       79          33   10        3     0.2
    Other countries   43       36          15    4        6     2 

  Latin America/
   Caribbean          58       49          21    1       16     1


More developed 
  regions c/          72       50           8    4        16    0.1


                      Based on contraceptive users

World                100       86          30    8        14    2 

Less developed 
 regions             100       91          37    9        11    3

  Africa             100       79           8    0.4      36   10
   Northern Africa   100       91           5    --       46    0.1
   Sub-Saharan Africa100       68          10    1        27   17

  Asia and Oceania b/100       93          39   11         7    2
   Eastern Asia b/   100       99          41   12         4    0.2

   Other countries   100       84          36    9        13    5 

  Latin America/
   Caribbean         100       83          36    1        28    2

More developed 
 regions             100       70          11    6        22    0.2


                                 Vaginal
                                 barrier           With-    Other
                   IUD  Condom   methods  Rhythm   drawal   methods


Region             (7)    (8)     (9)     (10)      (11)     (12)


                Based on couples with women in reproductive ages

World              12      5       1        3         4        1

Less developed
  regions1         14      3       0.2      2         2        1

  Africa            4      1       0.2      2         2        1
    Northern 
     Africa        14      1       0.3      2         1        0.3
    Sub-
     Saharan 
     Africa         1      0.5     0.1      2         1        1

  Asia and 
   Oceania b/      16      3       0.1      2         2        1
    Eastern Asia b/31      2       0.2      1         0.1      0.2
    Other countries 5      4       0.1      3         3        1

  Latin America/
   Caribbean        7      2        1       5         3         1

More developed 
  regions c/        6     14        2       7        14         1

                         Based on contraceptive users

World              21      9        1       6         7         2

Less developed 
  regions          26      5        0.4     4         3         2

  Africa           20      4        1      11         5         5
    Northern Africa36      3        1       5         3         1
    Sub-Saharan
      Africa        8      4        1      16         7         8

  Asia and 
   Oceania b/      28      5        0.2     3         3         2
    Eastern Asia b/39      2        0.3     1         0.1       0.3
    Other 
     countries     11      9        0.1     6         7         3

  Latin America/
    Caribbean      11      4        1       9         6         2

More developed 
  regions           8     19        3      10        19         2


     Source:  Levels and Trends of Contraceptive Use as Assessed in
              1994 (United Nations publication, forthcoming).

     Notes:  These estimates reflect assumptions about
contraceptive use in countries with no data.  A dash (--)
indicates that the amount is nil or negligible.

     a/   Includes methods in columns (3) through (9).

     b/   Excluding Japan.

     c/   Australia-New Zealand, Europe, Northern America, Japan
and the former USSR.


Western Asia 1/ and South-central Asia 2/ respectively. 
Differences are even larger at the individual country level: 
Yemen's TFR of 7.6 for 1986/87-1991/92 is currently the highest in
the world (United Nations, forthcoming c) while at the other
extreme Japan reports a TFR of 1.5 in 1991.  The overall decline of
18.9 per cent in Asia from 1980-1985 to 1990-1995 is a result of
the rapid decline (20.8 per cent) of the highly
populated/low-fertility countries of Eastern Asia (the latter
decline is readily accounted for by the sharp fertility decline in
China) and the smaller (12.0 per cent) reduction that took place in
the high-fertility countries of Western Asia (see table 6).

52.  In Latin America, regional average TFR levels are
comparatively more uniform.  In 1990-1995, they range from 2.8 in
the Caribbean to 3.5 in Central America, a difference of less than
one birth per woman.  Deviations from this range are, however,
found in some Caribbean islands such as Cuba and Martinique, where
TFR (1.8 and 1.9 respectively) was below population replacement
level in 1990.  At the opposite end of the scale, Honduras, with a
TFR of 5.1 in 1988- 1991, currently experiences the highest
fertility in the Latin American region (United Nations, forthcoming
c). 3/  Central America experienced the largest fertility decline
in Latin America (almost 24 per cent) during the current decade,
with a decline in TFR of from 4.0 to 3.5.

53.  In the more developed regions, the situation has changed
little, overall.  With average TFRs in the range of 1.8 to 1.7, the
countries of the regions 4/ experienced below population
replacement fertility during the current decade and only a slight
decline in TFR of 5.6 per cent.  However,  major differences also
exist within the more developed regions.  In Europe, 5/ TFRs have
continued to decline from 1.8 to 1.6 births per woman,
corresponding to a reduction of about 16 per cent during the
decade, reflecting the compensating effects of fertility trends in
different European subregions.  The average TFR remained constant
in Northern Europe (at 1.8), whereas it decreased by over 20 per
cent in Southern Europe, from 1.8 in 1980-1985 to 1.4 in 1990-1995.

In Eastern Europe, TFR fell from 2.1 to 1.6 in the past five years
and in Western Europe it declined from 1.6 to 1.5 during the same
period (table 1). 6/  The somewhat higher fertility in Northern
Europe is sustained mainly by higher fertility in the Scandinavian
countries, notably in Sweden, where a return of its TFR to
replacement level has been recorded in 1990, 1991 and 1992.  The
lowest European TFR is in Spain, 1.2 in 1992, and the highest in
Albania, 3.0 in 1991 (Monnier and Guibert-Lantoine, 1993, table 3).

54.  In Northern America, fertility is on an upward trend and TFRs
evolved from 1.8 in 1980-1985 to an expected 2.1 in 1990-1995,
representing an increase of about 17 per cent.  In Australia-New
Zealand (the developed countries of Oceania), fertility remained
constant at 1.9 during the same period as compared to the whole of
Oceania where TFRs still fluctuate at about 2.6-2.5 (table 6). 

55.  Although fertility change is also the consequence of social
and economic changes affecting marriage, lengthy breast-feeding or
other practices that directly influence pregnancy and birth,
increased use of contraception is in general the most important
proximate determinant of the long-term transition from high to
lower levels of fertility in the developing regions at present. 
According to data available through mid-1994, 57 per cent of the
world's couples with the wives in reproductive ages were currently
using contraception - 72 per cent in the more developed regions and
53 per cent in the less developed regions.  The average date of
collection of these data is 1990.  Based on the recent pace of
change in contraceptive practice, the level of current use in the
developing countries is likely to have reached 56 per cent in 1994.

Regional differences remain large, with 18 per cent of couples
estimated to be using a method in Africa, 79 per cent in the
developing countries of Eastern Asia, 43 per cent in the remainder
of Asia and 58 per cent in Latin America (table 7).  

56.  In the more developed regions, prevalence is above 55 per cent
in all countries with data, and in most cases is in the range of
70-80 per cent.  Some developing countries (including the largest,
China) have attained such levels as well.  Among the developing
countries with populations of 100 million or more, the level of
contraceptive use according to recent surveys was above 65 per cent
in Brazil and China and was in the range of 40-50 per cent in
Bangladesh, India and Indonesia, but remained below 15 per cent in
Nigeria and Pakistan. 

57.  While there remain many countries in Africa and several in
other regions where the level of use is still very low, most
developing countries with trend data available have experienced a
substantial recent increase in the level of contraceptive use. 
Even in sub-Saharan Africa, where average prevalence, at 12 per
cent, is much lower than in other regions, recent surveys show an
increase in levels of use in several countries, including Botswana,
Kenya, Lesotho, Rwanda, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

58.  A comparison based on surveys conducted around 1980 and 1990
shows that all but a few of the developing countries with trend
data available experienced an increase in the level of
contraceptive use during the period (United Nations, forthcoming
b).  Prevalence grew by at least one percentage point per annum in
nearly two thirds of the developing countries, and annual increases
in prevalence of two or more percentage points were recorded in
Algeria, Bangladesh, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka and
several Caribbean countries.  The mean annual increase in
prevalence in the developing countries was 1.2 percentage points. 
Rapid growth in the level of contraceptive use was most common in
countries where prevalence had already begun to increase by the
time of the earlier of the two times considered, but had not yet
passed 50 per cent of couples.  In roughly 85 per cent of countries
where prevalence was between 15 and 49 per cent during earlier
periods, the level of use subsequently grew by at least one
percentage point a year.  Prevalence also grew that rapidly in four
sub-Saharan African countries - Cameroon, Kenya, Lesotho and Rwanda
- and one Asian country, Nepal, where the level of use had been
below 15 per cent at the start of the period.

59.  The most widely used methods are those used by women:  female
sterilization, accounting for 30 per cent of contraceptive use
world wide, intra-uterine devices (21 per cent) and oral pills (14
per cent).  The main male methods, condoms and vasectomy, account
respectively for 9 and 8 per cent of contraceptive use, while the
main traditional methods, rhythm and withdrawal, together account
for about 13 per cent of use (table 7).  In most countries, modern
contraceptive methods account for nearly all the recent increase in
the overall level of contraceptive use.  Female sterilization is
the method showing the most rapid growth over the recent past in
both the developed and the developing regions, although there is
great diversity among countries in both the current mix of methods
and recent patterns of change.

60.  Recent surveys continue to show declines in the average number
of children desired in all the developing regions, and increases in
the proportions of women who currently want to stop having
children.  While the percentages wanting no more children remain
much lower in sub-Saharan Africa than in other regions, the
percentages increased substantially between surveys conducted in
the 1970s and those conducted in the 1980s or early 1990s.  Kenya
showed an especially large change, with those wanting no more
children rising from 17 per cent of married, fecund women in
1977/78 to 54 per cent in 1993.  Even though contraceptive
prevalence also rose rapidly over the same period - from 7 per cent
to 33 per cent of married women - and the total fertility rate fell
from the extremely high level of about eight children to about 5.5,
the number of unwanted births per woman actually increased from
approximately one to two births.  Rising gaps between desired and
actual fertility have been seen in other countries at an early
stage of the fertility transition as well, and available data
suggest that this is occurring in many countries in sub-Saharan
Africa at present.

61.  Most information about reproductive behaviour and attitudes
comes from surveys of women, but recently more surveys, notably
many of the demographic and health surveys conducted in Africa,
have included samples of men as well.  A review of contraceptive
practice, as reported separately by men and women (United Nations,
forthcoming b) shows that in Asia, Latin America and Europe,
reports of married men and women on current contraceptive use are
usually not far apart, but in most sub-Saharan African countries
men report substantially greater use of contraception.  

62.  Where men report more contraceptive use, the difference in
male and female reports is usually due mainly to greater use of
condom and rhythm by men.  Unmarried men usually report much higher
levels of condom use than do married men, even though the overall
level of contraceptive practice is higher among the married.  The
condom is the only method for which use levels are almost always
higher for unmarried than for married men.  It is not clear from
the available information whether men's condom use is mainly
motivated by contraceptive concerns or by a desire to avoid the
spread of sexually transmitted diseases, and few national surveys
so far have inquired about the regularity of such use or use with
different sexual partners.  None the less, it is clear that,
particularly for assessing condom use, it is important to interview
men as well as women in order to obtain a comprehensive view of
current practice. 

       2.  Policies

63.  In the wake of the 1994 International Conference on Population
and Development and the renewed focus on the consequences of
fertility levels and trends for maternal and child health and
social and economic development, 58 per cent of countries in the
world report being dissatisfied with their level of fertility. 
This represents the greatest degree of governmental dissatisfaction
with fertility levels since the United Nations began systematically
tracking population policies in 1976.  In 1976, 47 per cent of all
countries felt that their fertility levels were either too high or
too low.  In 1994, among the countries categorized as being
dissatisfied, 79 per cent feel that the fertility level is too
high, while 21 per cent indicate that the level is too low. 

64.  The dissatisfaction with fertility levels has in most
countries been translated into policies that are intended to modify
these levels.  Of the 110 dissatisfied countries, 80 intervene to
lower levels of fertility, while 17 countries have policies in
place to raise levels of fertility.  Expressing satisfaction with
fertility levels, however, has not precluded pursuing an
interventionist stance.  Of the 80 countries expressing
satisfaction, 4 intervene to raise the level of fertility, 29 to
maintain the level and 3 to lower it.

65.  Disaggregating the data by region indicates distinct regional
patterns in the implementation of fertility-influencing policies. 
The African region, where fertility is highest (5.8 births per
woman for the period 1990-1995), displays the greatest propensity
towards implementing policies to lower fertility.  Sixty-eight per
cent of African countries have such policies in place.  In Asia,
where fertility is substantially lower, 3.0 births per woman, less
than one half of the countries (43 per cent) seek to lower
fertility.  In the European region, which is in the final stage of
demographic transition and where 33 of the 43 countries have
below-replacement fertility, countries are more likely to pursue
either a policy of non-intervention (49 per cent) or a policy to
raise fertility (35 per cent).  In Latin America and the Caribbean,
with fertility at about the same level as in Asia (3.1 births per
woman), more than one half of the countries (55 per cent) have
policies to lower fertility, while in Oceania, 62 per cent of
countries seek to lower fertility. 

66.  Policies and programmes to modify fertility levels in a number
of countries have been accompanied by the establishment of
quantitative fertility goals.  Based on the results of the Seventh
United Nations Population Inquiry among Governments in 1992, of the
127 countries replying to the Inquiry, 45 countries had adopted
quantitative fertility targets.  For 35 of the countries, the
target was expressed in terms of total fertility rate. 

67.  A preoccupation of Governments has been the problems
associated with adolescent fertility.  According to the Seventh
United Nations Population Inquiry, 59 countries out of 127
specified that child-bearing among women under 20 years of age
constitutes a major concern, while an additional 35 countries cite
it as a minor concern.  To deal with adolescent fertility, 70
countries have implemented programmes in order to promote delayed
marriage and child- bearing, through sex education classes,
improved educational and employment opportunities and raising the
minimum legal age at marriage.  

68.  Although Government support for access to contraceptive
methods is widespread - 81 per cent of Governments provide direct
support as of 1994 - serious issues related to the quality and
quantity of reproductive health services remain to be resolved. 
One measure of the magnitude of the unmet demand for
family-planning services has been the incidence of unsafe abortion,
defined as a procedure for terminating unwanted pregnancy either by
persons lacking the necessary skills or in an environment lacking
the minimal medical standards, or both.  Long-term consequences of
unsafe abortion may include chronic pelvic pain, pelvic
inflammatory disease, tubal occlusion, secondary infertility and
increased risk of spontaneous abortion in subsequent pregnancies. 
According to revised estimates prepared by WHO in 1993,
approximately 20 million unsafe abortions are performed annually on
a global basis, or almost one abortion for every seven births. 
Bearing in mind the limitations of the data and methodology,
substantial variations exist when disaggregating the data by
subregion.  The incidence of unsafe abortion varies from a high of
30 or more unsafe abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-49 years in
Eastern and Western Africa, Latin America and the former USSR to
less than two unsafe abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-49 years in
Northern Europe and Northern America.  Some of the variations in
the incidence of unsafe abortion can be explained by the less
restrictive nature of abortion provision in Northern Europe and
Northern America (11 of 12 countries permit abortion for economic
or social reasons), as compared with Eastern and Western Africa and
Latin America (two of 45 countries permit abortion for economic or
social reasons).  Ease of access to abortion services, however,
does not guarantee access to safe abortion, as evidenced by the
relatively high incidence of unsafe abortion in the former USSR (30
unsafe abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-49 years), despite the
availability of abortion on request since 1956. 

69.  Governments are concerned by the present level of induced
abortion.  More than one half of the countries replying to the
Seventh United Nations Population Inquiry among Governments in 1992
(69 countries out of 127) reported that the Government was
concerned by the level of induced abortion in the country. 


        D.  Population distribution

            1.  Trends

70.  At mid-1994, 2.5 billion persons - 45 per cent of the world
population - were urban dwellers.  Of these, 1.7 billion resided in
the less developed regions (figure IV).  The world urban population
is growing at a rate of 2.5 per cent per annum, three times that of
rural populations (0.8 per cent per annum) (table 8).  As a result,
urban areas are absorbing 61 million persons each year compared
with 25 million for rural areas.  The United Nations projections
indicate that half of the world population will live in urban areas
by 2005.  

71.  Patterns of urbanization differ markedly between the
more developed and the less developed regions.  In 1994, 75 per
cent of the population of the more developed regions and only 37
per cent of those in the less developed regions were urban
residents.  However, the less developed regions are undergoing a
rapid process of urbanization in contrast to the more developed
regions where the urbanization process has slowed.

72.  From 1975 to 1995, the urban population of the less developed
regions increased more than two times, at a rate of 3.8 per cent
per annum.  From 1995 to 2025, it is expected to increase by 135
per cent, at a rate of 2.9 per cent per annum.  By 2025, 57 per
cent of the population of the less developed regions is expected to
be urban.  In contrast, the urban population of the more developed
regions is growing slowly.  From 1975 to 1995, the urban population
increased at a rate of less than 1 per cent per annum, and from
1995 to 2025, it is expected to grow at an even slower rate (0.6
per cent per annum).

73.  The least developed countries exhibit urbanization patterns
that are notably different from the other countries in the less
developed regions.  In 1994, only 22 per cent of the population of
the least developed countries lived in urban areas.  The urban
population is projected to increase by 4.6 per cent per annum from
1995 to 2025 and, by 2025, 43 per cent of the population of the
least developed countries is expected to be urban.

74.  One third of the population of Africa and Asia live in urban
areas, whereas seven out of every 10 people in Europe, Northern
America and Latin America live in urban areas.  By 2025, a little
more than one of two Africans and Asians are expected to be urban
residents, whereas 8 of 10 in Europe, Northern America and Latin
America are so projected.

75.  According to United Nations figures, Tokyo is currently the
largest urban agglomeration in the world, with 26.5 million
residents in 1994, more than one and a half times as large as the
world's second agglomeration, New York (16.3 million) (table 9). 
In the list of the largest agglomerations, the first five are Sao
Paulo (16.1 million), Mexico City (15.5 million) and Shanghai
(14.7 million).


    Figure IV.  Percentage of population living in urban areas,
                in 1994 and as projected in 2025







     Source:  World Urbanization Prospects:  The 1994 Revision
(United Nations publication, forthcoming).


     Table 8.  Population growth rate of urban and rural
               areas of the world and its major regions

                                   (Percentage)

                                    1975-1995          1995-2025

                                        Urban population

World                                  2.6                2.2

More developed regions                 0.9                0.6

Less developed regions                 3.8                2.9

Least developed countries              4.9                4.6


                                         Rural population

World                                  1.0                0.1

More developed regions                -0.3               -0.3

Less developed regions                 1.2                0.2

Least developed countries              1.4                1.3


          Source:  World Urbanization Prospects:  The 1994 Revision
                   (United Nations publication, forthcoming).


76.  The number of mega-cities of 8 million or more inhabitants is
increasing rapidly, particularly in the less developed regions. 
From only two cities in 1950 (New York and London), the number of
mega-cities increased to 22 in 1994.  Asia has 12 mega-cities,
Latin America has four and Africa has two (Lagos and Cairo).

77.  The mega-cities in the less developed regions are growing
faster than those in the more developed regions.  With the
exception of Tokyo and Los Angeles, the mega-cities in the more
developed regions had an average annual growth rate of 1 per cent
or less during the period 1970-1990.  However, most of the
mega-cities in the less developed regions grew by over 2 per cent
per annum.

78.  However, only 6 per cent of urban residents live in such
mega-cities of 8 million or more persons.  In fact, more than half
of the world urban population live in small cities of less than
500,000 inhabitants.  Projections show that half will still live in
those small cities in 2015. 

79.  The world's rural population is still growing (at an average
annual growth rate of 1 per cent between 1975 and 1995), but in
smaller and smaller increments.  Currently, 3.1 billion of the
world population live in rural areas.  By 2015, 3.3 billion of the
world population are expected to live in rural areas, after which
it is projected to decline to 3.2 billion in 2025.



      Table 9.  The 15 largest urban agglomerations in the
                world in 1994 and as projected in 2015

                   Population                          Population
 Agglomeration      in 1994          Agglomeration      in 2015
                   (millions)                          (millions)

   1.Tokyo           26.5               1. Tokyo          28.7

   2.New York        16.3               2.Bombay          27.4

   3.Sao Paulo       16.1               3.Lagos           24.4    

   4.Mexico City     15.5               4.Shanghai        23.4

   5.Shanghai        14.7               5.Jakarta         21.2

   6.Bombay          14.5               6.Sao Paulo       20.8

   7.Los Angeles     12.2               7.Karachi         20.6

   8.Beijing         12.0               8.Beijing         19.4

   9.Calcutta        11.5               9.Dhaka           19.0

  10.Seoul           11.5              10.Mexico City     18.8

  11.Jakarta         11.0              11.New York        17.6

  12.Buenos Aires    10.9              12.Calcutta        17.6

  13.Osaka           10.6              13.Delhi           17.6

  14.Tianjin         10.4              14.Tianjin         17.0

  15.Rio de Janeiro   9.8              15.Metro Manila    14.7


     Source:  World Urbanization Prospects:  The 1994 Revision
              (United Nations publication, forthcoming).


       2.  Policies

80.  In 1994, 25.3 per cent of the 190 United Nations Member and
observer States considered their patterns of population
distribution to be satisfactory, while 75 per cent expressed
dissatisfaction.  Those figures, however, represent an improvement
over the 1990 figures:  19 per cent were satisfied with their
population distribution, while 81 per cent desired major or minor
changes.

81.  The African Governments continue to show the most
dissatisfaction with population distribution:  11 per cent
considered current patterns satisfactory, whereas 66 per cent
expressed the desire for major changes in their distribution
patterns.  In its statement at the International Conference on
Population and Development, held in Cairo in 1994, the Central
African Republic commented on the country's unequal spatial
distribution and rapid urban growth, which was difficult to manage
and had led to social and cultural crises.  The Gambia noted that
the high rate of rural-urban migration was a great concern for the
Government; the outflow had contributed towards aggravating
congestion, worsening sanitary conditions, increasing unemployment
and its effects on youth, and putting excessive pressure on social
infrastructure in urban areas, as well as producing labour
shortages in the rural areas.  Namibia, with an urban growth rate
of 5 per cent, reported at the Cairo Conference that the increasing
rate of rural-to-urban migration was an unfortunate trend which was
leaving farm work increasingly in the hands of women and children,
as the men moved to the towns and cities in search of elusive
wage-earning employment.  Likewise, Zaire noted that the rural
exodus had increased tensions in the country's urban centres (it
further noted that Rwanda was a cautionary example in this regard).

In regard to population distribution policies, Angola reported that
it was supporting regional and urban development strategies to
de-intensify the exodus from rural areas and to reduce locational
disparities.  One of the least urbanized countries in the world,
Kenya, noted that its policy sought to increase urbanization, while
at the same time addressing the problem of the country's sparsely
populated marginal lands, which were experiencing desertification. 

82.  In Asia, 39 per cent of Governments desired major change,
but a larger number (45 per cent) felt that minor changes would be
sufficient.  In its statement at the International Conference on
Population and Development, the Lao People's Democratic Republic
noted that geographical distribution was very dispersed and
unequal, with about 85 per cent of the country's population living
in rural areas and practising subsistence agriculture.  Over the
past three decades, the Republic of Korea noted that it had
experienced much higher population concentration in large cities,
particularly in the Seoul metropolitan area, which had resulted in
chronic overpopulation in urban areas as well as unequal regional
development.  Mongolia noted that the Government followed a policy
of preventing depopulation by developing social services in remote
rural areas.  At the same time, it is also promoting concentration
in the cities in order to maintain a harmonious combination of
nomadic and city-dweller's lifestyles.  Thailand noted that
rural-to-urban migration was associated with related problems
ranging from worsening traffic to cramped living conditions, and
from reproductive health and fertility to environmental
degradation.  In its efforts to promote balanced development, the
Government noted that it had formulated strategies for
decentralized growth and the establishment of economic activities
outside the major urban centres such as Bangkok.   

83.  In Europe, where 44 per cent of Governments considered their
current population distribution to be satisfactory, Albania noted
that, following liberalization, rapid and uncontrolled urbanization
had led to difficulties with employment, housing, health and the
environment.  With the objective of harmonizing spatial
distribution with its general strategy of development, the
Government envisioned a series of social measures to better
integrate migrants in the urban milieu and to facilitate their
access to work, by offering them low-interest loans, education and
health services, without interrupting efforts to encourage
investment to improve infrastructure and increase production in
rural areas.  In Croatia, the number of refugees and displaced
persons was at a critical level of almost 10 per cent of the total
population; the Government noted that the war had introduced a new
term to the demographic terminology, i.e., "ethnic cleansing"; the
term meant a planned strategy of terror and violence, including
arbitrary killings and the harassment of people into leaving their
homes, with a view to creating nationally homogeneous territories. 

84.  In Latin America, where 48 per cent of Governments felt that
major changes were desirable, the Bahamas noted the difficulty of
the archipelagic structure of the country, which required
replication of basic services (e.g., health and education) to all
the islands.  El Salvador noted that it was in the process of
preparing the ordering and territorial development bill; it was
also concerned with providing attention to the uprooted,
demobilized and repatriated population, caused by the recent armed
conflict, and promoting their integration into society through the
national reconstruction plan.  Bolivia was promoting a hierarchical
system of cities in order to bring about integrated urban regional
development based on land-use plans, to reduce the high rates of
urban growth through promotion of intermediate cities.  Peru noted
that it was tackling the problem of internally displaced persons;
between 1983 and 1992, 600,000 persons, or 120,000 families, had
been obliged to migrate as a result of terrorist violence; at
present, with the decrease in violence, one of the principal
actions was the return of those populations or ethnic groups to
their places of origin. 

85.  In Oceania, Papua New Guinea noted that the country was
experiencing what many developed countries went through during the
early industrial revolution, with rural-to-urban migration by those
in search of formal cash employment; the country needed
international support to encourage jobs in rural areas, where
people could enjoy a far better life, while contributing
effectively to the national economy.  The Government of Tuvalu
reported that its population policy took into consideration
rural-to-urban migration and the effect it was having on
traditional lifestyles; moreover, the policy sought to promote
management of land resources in a manner that was consistent with
patterns of population distribution.


        E.  International migration

            1.  Trends

86.  Over the past decade, international migration has been the
demographic process most clearly affected by the momentous changes
in the world order.  Thus, the disintegration of nation States has
given rise overnight to population groups that can henceforth be
considered international migrants.  In addition, the conflict that
has accompanied the disintegration of some States has led to very
visible and substantial flows of refugees, asylum-seekers and
displaced persons that have brought migration issues to the
forefront of the international agenda.  However, such developments
have yet to be translated into better monitoring systems for the
quantification of international migration.  Consequently, the
information available on recent developments is still sketchy. 
Indeed, even for earlier periods, the available estimates of
international migration are generally partial (referring to only a
few countries or regions) and lack comparability; hence, the
importance of having a set of comparable estimates for the world as
a whole.  Such estimates have now been derived for the years 1965,
1975 and 1985.  Consequently, before focusing on the most recent
period, the nature of those global estimates and the migration
trends that they reveal are considered first.  

87.  Estimates of the stock of international migrants present in
each country of the world as of early 1965, 1975 and 1985 have been
derived from information on the size of the foreign-born population
(or, in some cases, the foreign population) enumerated by the
censuses of different countries and from information on the number
of refugees present in the developing countries.  At the world
level, the estimates obtained indicate that the stock of
international migrants increased from 76 million persons in 1965 to
85 million in 1975 and reached 106 million by 1985 (table 10). 
Consequently, the annual rate of growth of the international
migrant stock increased from 1.1 per cent during 1965-1975 to 2.2
per cent during 1975-1985, indicating that already by the mid-1970s
the rise in international migration was gaining speed.  However,
the experience of developed and developing countries contrasted
markedly.  Thus, whereas the annual growth rate of the
international migrant stock in the developed countries increased
only moderately, passing from 2 per cent per annum during 1965-1975
to 2.2 per cent during 1975-1985, that of migrants in the
developing countries increased nearly sixfold, rising from 0.4 per
cent during 1965-1975 to 2.2 per cent during 1975-1985.  The rapid
growth of the migrant stock in the developing world was largely
accounted for by the rapid increase in the number of international
migrants in Southern Asia, and in Northern Africa and Western Asia.

In the former, the outflow of some 4.4 million Afghans after the
invasion of their country in 1979 by Russian forces led to major
concentrations of refugees in the Islamic Republic of Iran and
Pakistan and largely accounted for the increase recorded in the
region.  In Northern Africa and Western Asia, the stock of
international migrants grew as a result of the increasing number of
migrant workers imported by the oil-producing countries of the
region, especially by the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

88.  Despite the rapid growth of the number of international
migrants in the developing countries, by 1985 they accounted for
only 55 per cent of the world's migrant stock, whereas their host
countries accounted for 76 per cent of the world population. 
Consequently, the proportion of international migrants among the
total population of developing countries remained low (they
constituted 1.6 per cent of the total).  In contrast, international
migrants constituted 4.1 per cent of the population of developed
countries.  Thus, proportionately, international migration
continued to have greater import for the developed world.

89.  As table 10 indicates, there was considerable variation in the
growth and distribution of international migrants among the major
world regions.  By 1985, Europe and Northern America were hosting
the largest concentrations of international migrants, amounting to
23 million and 20 million, respectively.  In Northern America, the
United States alone hosted 16.5 million migrants, a number that
included the majority of the nearly 3 million undocumented migrants
whose status was later regularized by the Immigration Reform and
Control Act of 1986.  In the developing world, Southern Asia had 19
million international migrants as of 1985, followed by Northern
Africa and Western Asia, with 13 million, and by sub-Saharan
Africa, with 11 million.  The estimates for both Southern Asia and
sub-Saharan Africa included all the refugees that, according to the
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
(UNHCR), were present in the respective regions in 1985.


     Table 10.  Key indicators about trends in migrant stock,
                by region, 1965, 1975 and 1985



                        Estimated foreign-         Percentage     
                         born population          distribution
                           (thousands)             by region


                                                  1965- 1975- 1965
 Region                   1965   1975   1985      1965  1975  1985

World                    75 934  84 636 105 537   100.0 100.0 100.0
World, excluding China 
 and the former USSR     75 527  84 183 105 050    99.5  99.5  99.5

Developed countries      31 398  38 342  47 915    41.3  45.3  45.4

Developing countries     44 535  46 294  57 623    58.7  54.7  54.6

Sub-Saharan Africa         7 122 10 335  11 290     9.4  12.2  10.7

Southern Asia             18 700 15 565  19 156    24.6  18.4  18.2

Eastern and South-
  eastern Asia             7 580  7 421   7 486    10.0   8.8   7.1

Northern Africa and 
  Western Asia             5 464  7 437  13 390    7.2    8.8  12.7

Northern America          12 680 15 018  20 435   16.7   17.7  19.4

Caribbean and Central
  America                453 533     854    0.6     0.6   0.8   2.0

South America              5 359   5 167  5 602     7.1   6.1   5.3

Europe                    15 617  19 382 22 952    20.6  22.9  21.7

Oceania                    2 552   3 324  3 884     3.4   3.9   3.7


contd.
                            Percentage                   Annual
                             of total                    rate of
                            population                   change

                                                     1965-1975-1965
Region                     1965 1975 1985            1975 1985 1985


World                       2.3 2.1  2.2              1.1  2.2  1.6

World, excluding China 
  and the former USSR       3.2  2.9  3.0             1.1  2.2  1.6

Developed countries         3.2  3.5  4.1             2.0  2.2  2.1
Developing countries        1.9  1.6  1.6             0.4  2.2  1.3

Sub-Saharan Africa          3.0  3.3  2.7             3.7  0.9  2.3
Southern Asia               2.8  1.9  1.8            -1.8  2.1  0.1

Eastern and South-
  eastern Asia              1.9  1.5  1.2            -0.2  0.1 -0.1

Northern Africa and 
  Western Asia              4.0  4.2  5.7             3.1  5.9  4.5

Northern America            6.0  6.3  7.8             1.7  3.1  2.4

Caribbean and Central 
  America                   2.0  2.0  2.7             1.6  4.7  3.2

South America               2.4  1.8  1.5            -0.4  0.8  0.2

Europe                      3.5  4.1  4.7             2.2  1.7  1.9

Oceania                    14.8 15.9 16.0             2.6  1.6  2.1


     Source:  Trends in Total Migration Stock, 1993 (a database
maintained by the Population Division of the Department for
Economic and Social Information and Policy Analysis of the United
Nations Secretariat).


90.  Interestingly, the number of international migrants in Eastern
and South- eastern Asia, a region that includes China and Japan,
was relatively low in 1985 (7.5 million) and had remained stable
since 1975.  As of 1985, however, labour shortages in the newly
industrializing countries of the region are known to have fuelled
increased migration to the region.  According to some estimates, in
the early 1990s, Japan would be hosting nearly 300,000 undocumented
migrants in addition to the million or so foreign residents legally
present in the country; Taiwan Province of China would have about
45,000 undocumented migrants; in the Republic of Korea, a
regularization drive carried out in 1992 produced 61,000
applications; and in Malaysia, 320,000 undocumented migrants
applied for legalization under an amnesty programme operating in
1992 (Stalker, 1994).  Such numbers indicate that, despite their
reluctance to import foreign workers, the rapidly growing economies
of the region may have to do so if they are to remain competitive. 

91.  Lastly, table 10 shows that the number of international
migrants grew moderately in South America since 1975 and more
markedly in Central America and the Caribbean.  Migration within
the latter region was largely the result of the civil strife and
conflict that reigned in Central America during the 1980s and that
has largely abated during the 1990s.

92.  Most of the figures cited above fail to reflect the changes
that have taken place in international migration flows since 1985
when the processes that led eventually to the end of the cold war
and the democratization of the Governments of Eastern and Central
Europe and the former USSR began to have an effect on international
migration dynamics.  As countries in transition relaxed their exit
regulations, a growing number of their citizens found their way to
Western, Southern and Northern European countries with market
economies where they sought asylum under the tenets of the waning
cold war or were admitted as immigrants under special categories. 
The latter categories include the Aussiedler admitted by the
Federal Republic of Germany, a group consisting of persons of
German descent originating in countries other than the former
German Democratic Republic, and the Pontic Greeks, that is, persons
of Greek descent originating mostly in the former USSR and being
admitted by Greece.  During 1985-1990, the Federal Republic of
Germany admitted 1.1 million Aussiedler from countries in
transition.  Indeed, the increase in Aussiedler admissions was so
fast after 1988 that, once Eastern and Western Germany were
reunified, the Government of Germany imposed limits on the number
that it would admit annually and embarked on projects to provide
persons of German descent living in countries in transition with
alternatives to emigration.  Also indicative of the growth of
East-West migration during the 1980s was the fact that out of the
1.3 million persons filing asylum applications in market-economy
countries during 1983-1989, 30 per cent originated in countries in
transition.

93.  The breakup of the USSR brought about increased concern about
the possibilities of further migration directed to developed
countries with market economies.  Although large East-West flows
have failed to materialize, there have nevertheless been important
changes in the migration dynamics of the region, paramount among
which is the growing migration directed to the Russian Federation
as ethnic Russians "return" from other successor States.  In
addition, flows of refugees or forced migrants between successor
States experiencing ethnic conflict have been growing and there are
reports of new migration flows directed to certain Central and
Eastern European countries.  Thus, 35,000 citizens of the former
Soviet Union, 20,000 Romanians and up to 10,000 persons from
Bulgaria and the former Yugoslavia were reported to be present
illegally in the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1992 (Stalker,
1994).

94.  Since 1990, the major source of migrants in Europe has been
the former Yugoslavia, whose dissolution has involved armed
conflict in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and has led to the
largest movement of war victims and internally displaced persons in
Europe since the Second World War.  As of mid-1994, UNHCR estimated
that the number of persons in need of protection inside the former
Yugoslavia stood at 3.8 million, 2.7 million of whom were in Bosnia
and Herzegovina and half a million in Croatia (United Nations,
1994a).  In addition, several countries had provided temporary
asylum to persons from the former Yugoslavia, including Austria,
Germany, Hungary, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey, all of which were
hosting some 360,000 such persons in 1992.

95.  Africa is another region that continues to be afflicted by
conflict.  In 1994 it was hosting an estimated 6 million refugees,
the majority of whom were in Eastern Africa.  Although some
positive developments, such as the independence of Eritrea in 1993
and the elections in Mozambique, are making possible the
repatriation of refugees (90,000 in the case of Eritrea), conflict
continues to uproot people.  The crisis in Somalia, for instance,
led to an estimated outflow of 1 million Somalis, about a quarter
of whom have since returned, and to the repatriation of half a
million Ethiopian refugees.  The Sudan, which is reported to be
hosting 840,000 refugees, is itself the source of 350,000 refugees
who have found asylum in the Central African Republic, Ethiopia,
Kenya and Zaire (del Mundo, 1994).  In addition, upheavals in
Burundi, Rwanda and Togo have led to massive population outflows,
especially in the case of Rwanda, where the death of the President
in April 1994 triggered ethnic violence that left thousands dead
within a few weeks.  Large numbers of Rwandese sought refuge in
neighbouring countries and the majority of the 300,000 Burundi
refugees who had fled to Rwanda in 1993 were forced to leave.

96.  In Asia, the repatriation of Afghan refugees from the Islamic
Republic of Iran and Pakistan led to a reduction of their numbers
from 6.2 million in early 1990 to 4.5 million in early 1993. 
However, continued fighting in Afghanistan has prevented full
repatriation from taking place.  In a further positive development,
an agreement reached in 1993 between the Governments of Bangladesh
and Myanmar has paved the way for the repatriation of some 250,000
citizens of Myanmar who sought refuge in Bangladesh during
1991-1992.


            2.  Policies

97.  Several important world events have contributed to a number of
significant changes in international migration policies since the
previous assessment in World Population Monitoring, 1993 (United
Nations, forthcoming e), when the Gulf crisis and the rapid
turnover of events in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union
predominated.

98.  World events during the period 1992 to 1994 centred around a
number of countries, including Cuba, Haiti, Rwanda and Yugoslavia. 
Civil wars, unrest and political instability precipitated
unprecedented mass immigration movements throughout Europe and
Africa, and much smaller flows within Latin America and to the
United States.

99.  The West experienced an increase in racial and cultural
tensions as a result of the steadily rising numbers of foreigners
competing for employment, housing and basic services in a period of
global economic decline and high unemployment.  Indeed, racism and
xenophobia increased as public hostility rose towards the mass
influx of immigrants.  In Africa, the financial burden of hosting
the ever-growing number of refugees put a strain on the practice of
granting asylum to large numbers of persons seeking refuge.  The
massive flow of immigrants also had a significant impact on
national policies.  An increasing number of Governments began to
reconsider their immigration policies and to introduce legislation
designed to meet short-term national preferences to keep foreigners
out.  By the end of 1993, many countries had already instituted
entry restrictions for various categories of migrants, rejection of
asylum applicants from "safe countries" and the swift expulsion of
persons who arrive at the border without proper documentation. 
Changes in asylum legislation were introduced to streamline the
asylum process and to eliminate fraudulent claims, as it was widely
believed that asylum applications were increasingly becoming a
substitute for regular migration.

100. Indeed, compared to less than a decade ago, an ever-increasing
number of countries wish to maintain or to lower immigration levels
(table 11). 

   Table 11.  Governments' policy towards the level of immigration,
              1986-1994

                             (Percentage of countries)

Year        Raise      Maintain     Lower      Total      Number of
                                                          countries

1986        3.5         77.1        19.4       100.0      170
1989        4.7         63.7        31.8       100.0      170
1994        4.7         62.7        32.6       100.0      190

     Source:  The Population Policy Data Bank maintained by the
Population Division of the Department for Economic and Social
Information and Policy Analysis of the United Nations Secretariat.


101. The continent of Africa continues to be characterized by high
rates of international migration.  Indeed, cross-border movements
are a common site as each day hundreds of thousands of Africans
cross international borders without going through any formalities. 
These migrations are part of natural movements of people belonging
to the same ethnic group in a region where political borders cut
across territories of homogeneous population groups.  Africa also
has the world's largest refugee population, with some 6 million
persons fleeing violence aggravated by drought and increased
poverty.  This situation is exacerbated by the fact that vast
numbers of refugees are hosted primarily by a small number of poor
countries.  In Rwanda, for example, in a 24-hour period in July
1994, more than half a million people fled the advancing rebel army
and sought refuge in neighbouring Zaire.  Many African countries
are concerned about the number of non-nationals living within their
borders. 

102. Asia remains an important source of permanent immigrants,
refugees and contract-labour migrants to other parts of the world. 
China seeks to reduce the flow of immigration for permanent
settlement, while maintaining the flow of persons on work permits
and their dependants, and refugees and asylum-seekers.  India has
a policy of encouraging non-resident Indians to return with their
capital and expertise and be an asset to the nation.  Its policy
towards illegal immigrants is to repatriate them to their countries
of origin.  The Government of Japan seeks to increase the flow of
persons on non-permanent work permits.  In an attempt to halt the
proliferation of squatter settlements, the Malaysian Government has
ruled that employers who hire foreign workers must show proof that
they can provide satisfactory housing for them; if they fail to do
so, the Immigration Department will not approve the employer's
application for foreign workers.  Furthermore, all foreigners who
wish to become employed in Malaysia must undergo medical tests in
their home countries.  Among the most recent refugee policy
developments in Asia was the setting of a target date by the
Comprehensive Plan of Action for Indo-Chinese Refugees for the
return to Viet Nam of all screened-out Vietnamese asylum-seekers by
the end of 1995.  Repatriation continued to predominate in the
region in 1993; among the more successful cases was the
repatriation of Cambodian refugees from Thailand.  

103. Faced with a growing number of both legal and illegal
migrants, a number of European countries passed more restrictive
immigration legislation designed to curb the flow of immigrants and
asylum-seekers.  The Fifth Conference of European Ministers
Responsible for Migration Affairs (1993) stressed the need for a
comprehensive policy to moderate migration flows and for measures
to combat racism, xenophobia and intolerance.  In February 1994,
the European Union issued a Communication from the Commission to
the Council and the European Parliament, in which it called for
action in three key areas:  treating the causes of migration
pressure, controlling migration flows and improving the integration
of legal migrants into their host countries.

104. In Latin America, the Government of Brazil seeks to increase
the number of refugees and asylum-seekers entering the country,
while maintaining the flow of permanent immigrants, those on
non-permanent work permits and their dependants.  In Mexico, the
current government policy is to reduce the flow of permanent
immigrants, dependants of persons on work permits, and refugees and
asylum- seekers, while maintaining the flow of persons on
non-permanent work permits.  Brazil and Mexico seek to reduce what
both Governments consider high levels of emigration.  UNHCR
programmes in the region during 1993-1994 included the repatriation
of Chilean and Guatemalan refugees, an accelerated influx of
African refugees to Brazil, the implementation of Quick Impact
Projects in Belize, El Salvador and Guatemala, and training and
productive activities that targeted refugee and returnee women. 

105. Recent policy developments in Northern America included the
temporary Diversity Transition Program in the United States, which
provides 40,000 visas annually to aliens from 34 countries that
were identified as "adversely affected" by changes in United States
immigration law in 1965.  Operating as a lottery, this three-year
programme (1992-1994) selects persons from applications mailed to
the Immigration and Naturalization Service.  Although it does not
create a common market for the movement of labour, nor does it
address permanent or illegal migration to the United States, the
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the top policy issue
in the United States in 1993, facilitates the entry of business
visitors, traders and investors, and intra-company transferees. 
Also making headlines in 1994 was the United States policy towards
Haitian refugees.  New immigration legislation that came into force
in Canada in early 1993 contains a number of key provisions:  it
authorizes the Government to place limits, for a certain period, on
an immigrant's geographical mobility to employ his or her skills in
areas where they are most needed; provides tighter control over the
entry of illegal migrants through improved border controls; sets
penalties for airlines that transport passengers without the
required travel documents; and introduces a new one-step refugee
determination system that aspires to process claims within six
months.  

Australia remains the major receiving country in Oceania.  In
response to a growing concern about persons who enter the country
illegally or who attempt to evade immigration regulations,
Australia passed the Migration Reform Act in 1992, which simplifies
immigration documentation, making non-citizens accountable to a
single authority for permission to enter or to remain in the
country, and clarifies the rules for detaining individuals.  A new
immigration policy in May 1994 increased the level of immigration
by 10,000-73,000 persons annually.


    II.  POPULATION AND THE ENVIRONMENT:  LAND-CARRYING CAPACITY

107. The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development,
held at Rio de Janeiro in 1992, recognized that population factors
are among the significant forces that affect the environmental
resource base upon which sustainable development ultimately depends
(United Nations, 1993).  Agenda 21, which was adopted at that
Conference, set forth several important objectives aimed at
integrating demographic trends and factors in the global analysis
of environment and development issues.  Agenda 21 observed that
quantitative assessments of the relative role of population factors
in environmental degradation largely remained to be done.  In this
context, the monitoring of population trends takes on a particular
importance.  One approach recommended by Agenda 21 is to make an
assessment of the national population-carrying capacity.  The
land-carrying capacity is the maximum population that can be
sustainably supported in a given country or area by agricultural
activities.  Carrying capacity depends primarily on the land
agro-climatic characteristics and on the technology used.  

108. A landmark attempt to assess potential population-supporting
capacity at the national level was a 1982 study carried out by the
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and
the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
(Higgins and others, 1982).  The results of this study indicated
that by the year 2000, 57 per cent of the 117 countries considered
would be unable to meet their food needs under low-technology input
assumptions.  This study fuelled considerable controversy as to
whether the concept of carrying capacity should be used to study
the interactions between population, resources, development and the
environment.

109. Recently, estimates of carrying capacity have been prepared at
the subnational level in several countries.  In Asia, the carrying
capacity of Palawan Island in the Philippines was calculated by
ecological zone (Western, 1988).  Estimating carrying capacity
turned out to be difficult because human resource consumption per
capita varies since people control to some extent the natural
resources they depend upon.  At the same time, they may reduce
carrying capacities by environmental mismanagement.  The case-study
of Palawan was chosen because it was recently subjected to rapid
population growth owing to in-migration from other islands where
plantation operations collapsed and political strife exists. 
Current population and land-use trends were projected into the
future for six ecological zones (shore, mangroves, lowlands, low
hills, steep hills and mountains) under three different scenarios
(maximum development, maximum conservation and a compromise between
the two).  The results indicated that steep hills and mountain
zones would be subject to the greatest environmental degradation in
the future and that the compromise scenario was best.  The results
of the simulation also suggested the need to direct settlement away
from highland zones and to seek a balance between conservation and
development.

110. In Africa, carrying-capacity estimates have been prepared for
eastern Kenya (Bernard and others, 1989).  Although the majority of
the Kenyan population is rural, only 17 per cent of the land in
Kenya has medium- or high-agricultural potential.  Colonial
policies exacerbated this situation by concentrating the limited
high-potential agricultural land in large-scale farms and ranches
and low-potential land in native reserves.  This has resulted in
higher population densities on the least productive land, while
other potentially productive areas remain sparsely populated and
underexploited.  Population pressures on former reserves have
resulted in out-migration to the less fertile arid and semi-arid
lands in eastern Kenya where rapid population growth (approximately
2.5- 3 per cent per annum) has ensued.  The projections of carrying
capacity for eastern Kenya accounted for density patterns,
agro-ecological zones, minimum farm size needed to sustain an
average household each year (calculated by considering food-crop
yields and calories derived from food crops), total area, and
cultivable area.  Projections were made under three technology
scenarios (current low levels, intermediate levels drawing on some
use of intensive technologies, and high-technology levels involving
the extensive use of intensive technologies and conservation) and
three population growth scenarios (2.0, 2.5 and 3.0 per cent per
annum).  Results indicated that, even under the most optimistic
combinations of high technology and low population growth, carrying
capacities would be surpassed in all districts of eastern Kenya by
2020.  A main conclusion of this study is that eastern Kenya's
limited resource base and rapid rate of population growth require
comprehensive rural and regional development planning. 

111. In Mexico, a series of regional carrying-capacity calculations
were carried out, resulting in estimates for 205 micro-regions of
the country (Garc죂 de Alba, 1993).  According to those estimates,
over one third of the country, mainly the Pacific coastal area, has
the capacity to absorb additional population and further develop
agricultural, fishing and livestock resources.  Another third of
the country, mainly parts of the north and east, is capable of
supporting its current population.  The final third of the country,
consisting mainly of arid regions in the north and centre, has a
very low capacity for absorbing additional population.

112. Criticisms of the concept of carrying capacity have pointed
out that it does not adequately account for the potential impact of
technological change, aspirations for higher standards of living,
possibilities for and effects of international trade, and
institutional, social, economic and political constraints on land
use and production.  On the other hand, advocates of
carrying-capacity studies claim that the concept of carrying
capacity continues to have relevance as a heuristic device and that
new attempts to calculate carrying capacities have more effectively
taken into account variations in institutional and socio-economic
factors.


                         Notes

     1/   Western Asia now also comprises Armenia, Azerbaijan and
Georgia.  The present estimates are not comparable to those
presented in the 1992 Revision.

     2/   Southern Asia, now called South-central Asia, includes
the following additional countries:  Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,
Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.  The present estimates are
not comparable to those presented in the 1992 Revision.

     3/   Current data for the other high-fertility country, Haiti,
are not available.  In 1988/89, Haiti experienced a TFR of 5.8
(United Nations, forthcoming c).

     4/   Comprising Europe, Northern America, Japan and
Australia-New Zealand. 

     5/   The regional estimates for Europe are not comparable with
previous estimates as new independent countries are now included in
several European subregions.  Eastern Europe also comprises
Belarus, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, the Republic of Moldova, the
Russian Federation and Ukraine.  Southern Europe also comprises
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, the Former Yugoslav
Republic of Macedonia and Yugoslavia.

     6/   In Eastern Europe, only the Republic of Moldova is
expected to experience population replacement (2.1) in 1990-1995
(United Nations, forthcoming a, table A19).

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