Africa: 800 Million Jobs Needed

African economies are in a race to get ahead of the demographic boom.

“Let us share without fear the journey of migrants and refugees.” Pope Francis (@Pontifex) tweet on 27 September 2017.

While some people in the United States are sweating the presence, against the backdrop of a demographically stagnant white population, of the 11 million undocumented immigrants or of the 30+ million other foreign-born residents, there are far bigger numbers brewing in other parts of the world, numbers that are so large that they could affect, decades from now, the life of an American citizen far more than would the rare determined Mexican or Guatemalan who manages henceforth to scale President Trump’s purportedly impenetrable border wall.

In the next decades as was so often the case in history, the future shape of the world could once again be decided in Europe and by Europe’s and the West’s handling of Africa’s incipient demographic boom.

In fact, if you are a generous-minded European who shares the Pope’s noble sentiment and who views the ongoing wave of migrants coming into your country as a benign and positive development; or, if you believe that borders are outdated constructs and that all refugees and other immigrants should be welcomed into the rich world; indeed, if it is your view that anyone who stands in the way of this openness is misguided by racist and nefarious motives, then it behooves you to test the strength of your belief by examining the larger demographic data coming out of Africa and Asia. Read more

How Many People Will Live in Africa in 2050 and 2100?

Large declines in fertility will depend on raising female literacy above 80%.

Every few years, the United Nations Population Division releases demographic projections for the entire world and for every country, region and continent. Although the UN’s database is the most used source on demographics, the data is not equally reliable for all countries.

Countries in the developed world conduct regular censuses and produce detailed numbers that are considered reliable. Less developed countries conduct censuses on an irregular basis or are completely unable to conduct them and have instead to rely on demographic sampling. In the poorest countries of the world, most of which are in sub-Saharan Africa, censuses are infrequent or nonexistent and even sampling can be irregular and unreliable. Read more

China’s Demographics at a Turning Point

For decades, the decline in China’s birth rate was a big boost for the economy. What now?

This week, schadenfreude could have been a word invented for China experts if you judge by some of the commentary surrounding the country’s lifting of its one-child policy. Most got it right that the legacy of the one-child policy is now a problem for the Chinese economy because of a rapidly rising old-age dependency ratio (green line in the first chart below). This was tacitly acknowledged by the lifting of the policy. Read more

Tanzania Population 45 Million, Annual Growth 2.7%

The population of Tanzania grew by 10.5 million people in the last decade.  That is a 30.4% increase in ten years, or an annual rate of 2.7%, one of the highest in the world.

ROSE ATHUMANI writes in the TANZANIA DAILY NEWS, via ALLAFRICA.COM:

PRESIDENT Jakaya Kikwete announced the 2012 Population and Housing Census preliminary results showed that the population has reached 44,929,002 in total.

He said that the number of Mainlanders is 43,625,434 while that of Zanzibaris stands at 1,303,560. The last Population and Housing Census conducted in 2002 showed that the population was 34,443,603. President Kikwete noted that in the last ten years the population has increased by 10.5 million people.  READ MORE.

U.S. Birth Rate Hits Record Low

STEPHANIE CZEKALINSKI writes in NATIONAL JOURNAL:

The U.S. birth rate dropped to its lowest level since the beginning of the Great Depression, led by a drop among immigrants, according to a report data released Thursday by the Pew Research Center.

In 2011, the overall birth rate was 63.2 per 1,000 women of childbearing age, the lowest since at least 1920, Pew reported, citing numbers from the National Center for Health Statistics. The birth rate reached 122.7 in 1957, the peak of the Baby Boom. After the mid-1970s, the birth rate stabilized at about 65 to 70 births per 1,000 women annually, until the beginning of the Great Recession. READ MORE.

UNFPA State of World Population 2012

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) released a report today, State of World Population 2012: By Choice, Not by Chance, in which it calls family planning a human right:

“Family planning is a human right. Yet today some 222 million women in developing countries are unable to exercise that right because they lack access to contraceptives, information and quality services or because social and economic forces prevent them from taking advantage of services even where they are available.”

“The State of World Population 2012 explains why family planning is a right, examines the challenges in ensuring that all women, men and young people are able to exercise that right and suggests actions that governments and international organizations can take to give everyone the power and the means to decide freely and responsibly how many children to have and when to have them.”

Executive Summary:

The ability to decide on the number and spacing of one’s children is taken for granted by many in the developed world and among elites in developing countries. Yet, for a majority of people in developing countries, especially the poorest ones, the power and means to determine the size of their families are scarce or inadequate. An estimated 222 million women lack access to reliable, high-quality family planning services, information and supplies, putting them at risk of unintended pregnancy. In developed countries too, high levels of unintended pregnancy exist, especially among adolescents, the poor and ethnic minorities.

The huge unmet need for family planning persists, despite international agreements and human rights treaties that promote individuals’ rights to make their own decisions about when and how often to have children.

Today, family planning is almost universally recognized as an intrinsic right, affirmed and upheld by many other human rights. Because it is a right, voluntary family planning should be available to all, not just the wealthy or otherwise privileged. READ MORE OR READ FULL REPORT.

Plans to Tame Kenya’s Exploding Population

The government has plans to reduce the total fertility rate from 4.6 to 2.6 children per woman.

EDITH FORTUNATE writes in AFRICA REVIEW:

Ann Wafula, 30, patiently waits to see the gynaecologist at Gilead Medical Centre, situated in the upmarket Upper Hill area of Nairobi.

The mother of a three-month-old baby boy, who is also her first born, is here to consult with the doctor on what contraceptives she should use, based on a hormonal test carried at the hospital.

In Hagadera, three hundred kilometres away to the east of Nairobi, 21-year-old Asha Abdalla is a proud mother of twin girls, delivered just a few days ago at a local dispensary. The twins are her second and third born, while her first born is aged barely two years. “I conceived when he was just nine months,” she explains.  READ MORE.