Population Growth and Economic Development
Ansley Johnson Coale & Edgar M. Hoover


The main contribution of this book lies in its focus on real alternatives in future population growth. At some time-taken as 1956 in India for this case study-a low-income country may have the option of effectively promoting the reduction of fertility, or (by inaction) of permitting fertility to remain at high levels. This book clearly shows the nature and extent of the economic gains resulting from fertility reduction. Since most low-income areas are destined for rapid population growth even with substantial fertility declines, the emphasis is placed between moderately rapid and very rapid growth. The extensive quantitative population projections show the importance of the growth rate itself and of changes in age distribution in addition to population size. The results for India have direct implications for all low-income, primarily agrarian areas entering a program of economic development.

First published in 1958.

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