Philippines' Poverty Reduction

In 2015, the poverty rate in the Philippines was at 21.6 percent, which is a five percent decline from 2006. Although poverty rates have been declining, 22 million Filipinos still live in poverty as of 2015. That makes up about one fifth of the country’s population. Here are five facts about the Philippines’ poverty reduction efforts.

Five Facts about the Philippines’ Poverty Reduction

  1. Factors benefitting declining poverty rates –Among many things, robust economic growth as well as the development and improvement of social programs have greatly benefitted the government’s efforts to eradicate poverty in the Philippines. The country has improved poverty rates by creating more jobs outside of the agricultural sector, changing coverage in health insurance programs and raising the level of compulsory education. Additionally, people are experiencing better living conditions through improved access to potable water, sanitation and electricity. These efforts have been part of the change in the last decades that have aided in the decline of the poverty rate.
  2. Factors hindering declining poverty rates  – one of the main causes for poverty is the high wealth inequality rates in the Philippines. One report showed that “the richest 1 percent of Filipinos own more than 50 percent of the country’s wealth.” Wealth being concentrated among the top 1 percent of the population limits equal opportunities. This keeps the poor in poverty. As a way for the country to move forward and reduce poverty, the government has started focusing on investment and development of the regions where poverty is more prevalent. By doing so, it hopes to mitigate the negative effects of inequality and reduce the inequality rate.
  3. Birth control for the poor – besides the programs working towards changing people’s living conditions, the government has passed a law that provides birth control to 6 million women who cannot currently afford it. This will allow families to better plan how many children they have and to be better prepared to provide for their children. This has been part of the larger plan to reduce the population growth rate from 1.7 percent to 1.4 percent. Currentlu, the population is 104 million and continuing to rise.
  4. Key programs to help reduce poverty – the government has made great progress in reducing poverty. It intends to continue by implementing programs such as AmBisyon 2040 by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). NEDA aims to improve living conditions for those living in extreme poverty through job creation, improved health and nutrition and an increase in productivity. There is also a government program known as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, which has already helped reduce poverty 5 percent.
  5. The government’s goals for poverty eradication – by 2022, the government hopes to reduce poverty to 13-15 percent. The Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 has set the goals for the country’s poverty reduction efforts. As part of these programs, the country wants to increase investment in areas where poverty is more prevalent, such as in Mindanao, in order to boost development and create more job opportunities for the population.

The government is hopeful that its goals will be achieved by 2020, given all the programs and efforts it is putting into eradicating poverty. These five facts about the Philippines’ poverty reduction efforts highlight the progress that has been made in the past decades. They also show areas that still need to improve in order to fully eradicate poverty in the country.

Laura Rogers
Photo: Flickr

Top 10 Facts About Overpopulation in Asia
Asia is home to more than 50 percent of the people living around the globe. It is the world’s largest and most diverse continent and occupies more than four-fifths of the Eurasian landmass. The majority of Asia’s 49 countries have populations of between 10 and 100 million. Here are the top 10 facts about overpopulation in Asia.

Top 10 Facts About Overpopulation in Asia

  1. Asia is the largest continent in the world and 60 percent of the world’s current population inhabits it. It has the highest rate of growth with its population increasing four times in the 20th century.
  2. Asia constitutes roughly one-third of the world’s land area and is home to about three-fifths of its population. The continent includes the two most populous countries, China (1.43 billion) and India (1.35 billion), which together account for nearly two-fifths of all people around the world. Some of the other overpopulated countries in Asia include Indonesia (2.64 billion), Pakistan (1.97 billion), Japan ( 1.27 billion), Vietnam (96.4 million) and Turkey (81.9 million).
  3. Asia’s population is expected to grow by 750 million to reach 5.2 billion by 2050. In addition to this, India may surpass China as the world’s most populous country, increasing to 1.7 billion people from the current 1.35 billion. India might record the largest population increase of any single country over the next 33 years.
  4. More than half of all people around the globe (3.97 billion) live in just seven countries, according to a U.N. estimate and four of these countries are in Asia. Other than India and China, Asian countries like Pakistan and Indonesia have large populations too.
  5. South Asia has the highest prevalence of overcrowding in the developing world. A third of its urban population resides in houses that lack sufficient living areas. South East Asia follows with over a quarter of the urban population living in overcrowded housing. Asia’s developing cities are focussed on building freeways and skyscrapers which do not leave enough residential space and contributes to overcrowding in the continent.
  6. The Asia Pacific region is urbanizing rapidly which brings enormous challenges to landscapes and lifestyles. Urbanization causes inequalities between the rich and poor and prompts the poor to live in slums and hinders economic growth. According to the World Bank, inadequate infrastructure, as well as a failure to deal with environmental issues like pollution and water shortages causes people to struggle with congestion pressures and leads to a failure of a country’s economy.
  7. Urbanization in cities like Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangkok and Jakarta also demonstrate a lack of infrastructure. People migrate to cities in search of better jobs because rural areas do not offer them. However, these individuals have to move to informal settlements like slums due to a lack of adequate living spaces. These places usually lack proper water supply, electricity, sanitation and transportation and make living conditions difficult.
  8. There is a significant relationship between overpopulation and medicine. Due to the advancement in medicine, mortality rates have gone down which has led to a population explosion. In addition, there is a lack of food supply which causes deficiency diseases and starvation in overcrowded areas.
  9. The dramatic growth in the population of Asia is the result of an increase in the number of people surviving the reproductive age. Population growth accompanies changes in fertility rates due to better education about birth control. According to the World Bank, the aging population and low fertility rates are to blame for the increase in population as 36 percent of the world’s population over 65 currently live in East Asia. The World Bank projects that the 211 million people living in East Asia will rise over time.
  10. Many countries in Asia have relied on their young population, however, with changing demographics, they may lose around 15 percent of their working-age population by 2040. Higher incomes and better education have not only led to longer life expectancy and lower fertility rates but have also caused families to move and changed social values.

Overall, overpopulation in Asia is rapidly on the rise and is a cause for concern. It has a serious impact on the socio-economic fabric of this region and can lead to issues like instability of economy and poverty.

– Isha Akshita Mahajan
Photo: Flickr

Overpopulation in ChinaChina is one of the largest countries in the world by population and landmass, with over 1.4 billion citizens and 9.6 million kilometers of land. Overpopulation in China has resulted in the difficulty to sustain a quality of living that a majority of citizens would prefer. For example, China is also home to the 4th largest desert in the world, the Gobi Desert. With a growing population and aging citizens, how will China account for the density and demands of its citizens?

Top 10 Facts About Overpopulation in China

  1. China has the world’s largest megalopolis – A region in China known as the Pearl River Delta houses nine major cities and administrative districts. The Pearl River Delta has a population of more than 105 million. It also has a GDP larger than the entire population of Indonesia. With a massive amount of wealth and a growing population, there are concerns about pricing out long-time residents in favor of wealthy newcomers.
  2. Urbanization is a driving factor – China’s metropolitan and modern citizens are no different in terms of their housing desires when compared to urban western citizens. Many housing blocks in administrative regions such as Hong Kong have an illegal housing market to combat the lack of legal housing available. This opportunistic and morally-questionable market takes advantage of poorer, blue-collar workers who pay exorbitant prices in relation to their accommodations to remain in the city for work.
  3. China’s population and land statistics are relatively average versus western countries – With the world’s largest population and a large amount of land, one would think China could solve its population crisis easily. However, statistics from Business Insider show that for every square kilometer in China, there are 139.6 people. For every square mile, the number nearly triples. A majority of citizens desire to live in cities rather than in rural regions.
  4. China’s large population is declining – According to a report from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China’s population will peak in 2030 and begin declining as early as 2027. The reason for this decline is the lack of children being born in large part due to the one-child policy. The one-child policy was maintained for years. Due to cultural differences, Chinese families preferred having boys to girls. Now, China is the only country in the world with more men than women.
  5. Aging will be a massive issue for China in the long run – A 2016 report from China’s National Bureau of Statistics released data predicting that 25 percent of China’s population will be over the age of 60 by 2030.
    Conversely, the working-age population will have decreased by 80 million citizens by 2030. Population control in the early 1980s, when the one-child policy was first implemented, is to blame for the decreasing numbers.
  6. China is establishing new cities – In order to curb the expanding population and desire for modern, urban lifestyles, China has taken to constructing new metropolitan areas. A 2017 announcement from the Chinese government stated that the Xiongan New Area will be established to alleviate overcrowding in Beijing. This project is expected to have a positive economic effect on the country with a mass surge of housing purchases in the Xiongan New Area following the announcement.
  7. Population control is being used in the largest cities – In Shanghai and Beijing, the Chinese government is implementing a cap on the populations. A cap of just over 50 million will allow citizens to live within the boundaries of these cities. However, migrants and citizens disenchanted by or looked down on by the government are being disproportionately pushed out of the cities.
  8. The global economy is in danger due to falling fertility rates – A 2019 report from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences has predicted the population to decline by roughly 200 million by 2065. This dramatic decrease in population size is due to the nature of modernizing citizens pursuing careers and stability over a family. An estimate made from the academy stated that a rate of 2.1 children minimum per woman is necessary to maintain the working population.
  9. The government provides and enforces medical options to control the overpopulation in ChinaThe 1980s saw the first fears of overpopulation come to light. The one-child policy was one aspect of controlling those fears, and another was the use of birth control. The Chinese government originally used abortion, sterilization and vasectomies. Today, the government focuses on similar methods of population control.
  10. In all likelihood, overpopulation in China is not a long-term issue – Many organizations and think tanks have calculated that a population bust will occur all over the world. The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences is one such organization to have predicted this population bust all across China. The variety of factors that contribute to this decline come from changing cultural, social and financial factors.

While overpopulation in China does face its large cities, in general, it is not a threat to the country. Population decline, however, could affect the country to a much larger degree, economically.

-Zach Margolis
Photo: Flickr

The 10 Most Overpopulated Cites In The World 
Overpopulation begets poverty. When a city is overpopulated, the ratio of available resources to the number of people sharply decreases. There simply is not enough to go around, because there are too many people for whom goods, services and economies such as food, water, shelter, health care and opportunities are available.

Below is a list of the 10 most overpopulated cities in the world. This list was compiled according to Demographia World Urban Areas and is based upon a study of 1,758 urban areas.

The 10 Most Overpopulated Cites In The World

10. Malegaon, India

Population: 720,000. Population density per square kilometer: 23,200. Malegaon is a city and Municipal Corporation in the Indian state of Maharashtra, nestled within the Nashik District. A series of bombings shook the land in 2006, but the country has since been able to retain peace in the land.

9. Vijayawada, India

Population: 1,900,000. Population density per square kilometer: 23,700. Vijayawada, which translates to “the Place of Victory,” is a city of nearly two million people located on the banks of the Krishna River. It is considered a major transportation hub and is known for being a significant location for Buddhist and Hindu ritual.

8. Tshikapa, The Democratic Republic of the Congo

Population: 810,000. Population density per square kilometer: 24,100. A city of Tshikapa is located roughly 30 miles north of the border with Angola. It is perhaps best known as a terrain fertile for diamonds. Since the first diamond was discovered on the land in 1907, diamond mining and exploitation have been the focus of the Tshikapa economy.

7. Hong Kong, China

Population: 7,380,000. Population density per square kilometer: 25,900. Being the Special Administrative Region of China, Hong Kong is the seventh most overpopulated city in the world, and perhaps one of the most familiar on the list. This is one of the most economically powerful cities in the world and it seemingly has something for everyone.

6. Macau, China

Population: 675,000- Population density per square kilometer: 26,100. Under Chinese sovereignty for 20 years, Macau was formerly under Portuguese control from 1557 up to 1999. Now a Special Administrative Region of China, Macau is known for its elaborate entertainment industry, so much so that it has come to be dubbed the “Las Vegas of Asia.”

5. Mumbai, India

Population: 23,260,000 million. Population density per square kilometer: 26,400. India’s largest city Mumbai is often considered among the major cities of the world. It is at the heart of India’s financial and commercial interests, built upon the site of an ancient settlement. Mumbai, formerly Bombay, also has the distinction of being the home of Bollywood.

4. Surat, India

Population: 6,200,000. Population density per square kilometer: 26,600. The eighth largest city in India and one of the world’s most rapidly growing cities, Surat plays a key role in the country’s textile industry.

3. Al-Raqqa, Syria

Population: 845,000. Population density per square kilometer: 27,200. Al-Raqqa, nestled along the Euphrates River, was an important city even in distant past, during the Abbasid dynasty (786-908 CE). Of recent, the city was prominence as the de facto headquarters of ISIS in their brief conquest of the land, but with ISIS overthrown, so too was this notoriety.

2. Mogadishu, Somalia

Population: 2,600,000. Population density per square kilometer: 28,600. The capital of Somalia, Mogadishu, has been considered one of the foremost ports of the world for thousands of years.

1. Dhaka, Bangladesh

Population: 17,400,000. Population density per square kilometer: 47,400. Dhaka, the most overpopulated city in the world and the capital of Bangladesh is known for its culture and education. It is also known for ornate architecture from its history as a prominent region in Muslim rule during the 17th century

These 10 most overpopulated cities in the world share many challenges, including a lack of resources and high poverty levels. However, with the unrelenting work of the international community, overpopulation is a problem predicted to end (with the current projections of global population peak in 2070 followed by a long-term decrease).

Lacy Rab
Photo: Flickr

Overpopulation in India

According to recent studies, India is set to surpass China as the world’s most populous nation by as early as 2024. In a country where 25 percent of the population is already living on less than $2 a day, many fear the growing population will only make the poverty situation worse.

Although rapid population growth does not necessarily cause poverty, there is a clear connection between high fertility rates and poverty. In developing countries with high fertility rates, life expectancy and per capita income (two important indicators of well being) typically remain low.

The good news is that fertility rates in India have dropped significantly as of late, down to 2.2 births per woman. Yet the population is still growing at the world’s fastest rate at nearly 15 million people per year. Whatever measures are taken to combat overpopulation in India, it remains clear that overpopulation is a pressing issue with far-reaching implications on the environment, poverty and health. The following are 10 facts regarding overpopulation in India.

10 Facts About Overpopulation in India

  1. According to U.N. estimates, India’s current population of 1.32 billion is projected to reach 1.8 billion by 2050.
  2. Indians account for nearly one-sixth of the global population and one in three people living in global poverty, according to statistics from Yale University.
  3. The fertility rate of Indian women has more than halved over the last 40 years, down to 2.2 births per woman. Falling fertility rates are important in that they typically correspond with rising life expectancy and quality of life.
  4. Around 31 percent of Indians currently live in urban areas, but that number is projected to climb to near 50 percent (830 million people) by 2050.
  5. Currently, India is home to five megacities; this number is slated to increase to seven by 2030. A megacity is a city of more than 10 million people.
  6. Delhi is projected to remain the second most populous city in the world in 2030, adding 9.6 million inhabitants in that time.
  7. While only 300,000 men agreed to vasectomies in 2008-09, more than 5.5 million women agreed to use an intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCDs) to avoid pregnancy. These procedures are sponsored by the government to promote population control.
  8. The number of married women who regularly use contraceptives has gone up from 13 percent in 1970 to 48 percent in 2009.
  9. Indians have added almost a decade to their life expectancy in the past 25 years, with average life expectancy up to 69 years.
  10. India registered 90,000 fewer infant deaths in 2016 as compared to 2015.

Although the statistics can appear staggering, there is still reason to be optimistic. In India, trends in women’s education, fertility rates and quality of life have all shown improvements in recent history. This is important since improvements in these areas all correspond to decreasing poverty and population levels.

Furthermore, since countries with higher levels of income, education and access to health care typically have lower birth rates, experts are beginning to urge the government to focus on the development of these areas. Others are advocating for a government enforced family planning strategy, much like China’s one-child policy.

There is certainly overpopulation in India, but with awareness of the issue and sustained efforts to combat it, both poverty and population can be brought under control.

– Taylor Pace
Photo: Flickr

Overpopulation and Poverty
There has been a longstanding notion that overpopulation and poverty are related. The belief is that overpopulation causes poverty. While it is true that many of the poor nations around the world are overpopulated, research has shown that overpopulation is not the prime reason for poverty.

Experts believe that blaming overpopulation for the financial struggle of a nation could be an oversimplification of the problem. Here are the three main myths when it comes to overpopulation and poverty.

Three Myths About OverPopulation and Poverty

  1. Improving healthcare in poor nations contributes to overpopulation: Couples in poor nations on an average have four children, double the average of their counterparts in a developed nation. It is not a coincidence that the same nations also have the highest infant mortality rate and the worst healthcare facilities in the world. The reason for this is that parents are hoping to make sure that at least two of their children live long enough to take care of them when they are old.When medical facilities are improved, the infant mortality rate drops. As a result, children are less affected by fatal diseases and live longer healthier lives. Gradually, parents start to have smaller families due to a confidence that their existing offspring shall live and thrive and the overall population growth rate starts to drop.Therefore, poor health care conditions are actually what contribute to overpopulation and poverty. Conversely, improving healthcare facilities helps reduce the population.
  2. Foreign aid to poor countries leads to overpopulation: The U.S. contributes less than one percent of its GDP toward foreign aid. The funding reaches the poorest of nations around the world, helping them fulfill the basic needs of their populations like providing grains at subsidized rates, providing clean drinking water and building toilets, among others. This, in turn, reduces the risk of fatal diseases like typhoid and diarrhoea.Foreign aid also supports education, specifically girls’ education. Educating a female child is still considered an unnecessary financial burden or even taboo in many societies. Girls’ education is often discontinued to fund their brothers’ education.Girls’ education is a key factor to resolve overpopulation and poverty. Research and data in the past decades have shown that improving girls’ education has a direct and profound impact on population control. Therefore, foreign aid does not cause overpopulation; rather, it helps uplift nations out of poverty, giving them basic amenities and education.
  3. Overpopulation cannot be solved in this lifetime: Controlling the constantly rising population is a daunting task. Based on the current population growth rate, the world population is projected to swell to 11 billion people in the year 2100. Nevertheless, by reaping the benefits of persistent efforts toward improving global medical facilities, equality in education and birth control awareness overpopulation and poverty can be resolved. More importantly, it is possible in this lifetime.By bringing down the average number of children per couple to 1.5, total world population would decline to about six billion by 2100–less than half the projected rise! Fewer people means more resources, subsequently leading to a greater number of self-sufficient and prosperous nations.

These myths about overpopulation and poverty have persisted for years and still continue to stand in the way of poverty eradication. If the world is to move toward a brighter, healthier, more equal future for all, these myths must be eradicated as well.

– Himja Sethi
Photo: Flickr

most overpopulated citiesAs the population of the world keeps growing, the Earth’s resources are shrinking and being unevenly distributed. This overpopulation leads to a declining ratio of food producers to food consumers.

There are not enough resources or available land for many struggling individuals to survive. Thus, they must flock to urban areas where there is rapid growth in the world economy. In cities, people can specialize in different fields within the industrial and service sectors. However, there are too many people trying to fill these small confines of city life.

As cited on the National Geographic website, “in cities, two of the most pressing problems facing the world today also come together: poverty and environmental degradation.” This is due to the vast degradation of resources in urban settings and the exacerbation of poverty. This is especially prominent in an analysis of the most overpopulated cities in the world.

The Five Most Overpopulated Cities and Their Populations

  1. Sao Paulo, Brazil: 21,297,000
  2. Mumbai, India: 21,357,000
  3. Shanghai, China: 24,484,000
  4. Delhi, India: 26,454,000
  5. Tokyo, Japan: 38,140,000

The most overpopulated cities tend to be in developing countries where poverty is rampant due to this overcrowding. Even in developed countries, the cities listed deal with intense smog and pollution problems that exacerbate health and poverty issues.

In less developed regions, there is a higher death rate for children and adolescents. Unsanitary living conditions threaten survival rates. This is especially evident in urban areas where crowding is so common that slums have grown rapidly.

In order to combat poverty in the most overpopulated cities, education and economic growth are critical. By engaging the government to work with its community, the government will better understand which challenges should be addressed first. Therefore, education, paired with improved living conditions in cities, will help ensure children are surviving into adulthood.

These are the key ingredients to overcoming poverty and environmental pollution in overpopulated urban areas.

– Caysi Simpson

Photo: Flickr

World Hunger's Causes and Effects
The causes of world hunger are directly related to those of poverty. Close to 795 million, or one in nine, people living in the world today do not have enough food. Ending world hunger requires an understanding of the causes and effects.

  1. War causes communities which are dealing with crumbling infrastructure, violence and fleeing refugees to be largely unable to maintain stable food systems. Declining income levels during times of war significantly impacts the supply of food and food security.
  2. Agricultural practices such as deforestation, over-grazing and over cropping combined with drought and the effects of soil erosion can often destroy farm and grazing land.
  3. Climate change is a huge factor in causing world hunger as it has been increasing the number of droughts, floods and tropical storms. These often unexpected, rapid natural disasters destroy the small plots of land that farmers count on for their food and livelihood.
  4. As the global population continues to increase, especially in developing countries, the demand for food will invariably continue to rise as well. As food prices rise, it is becoming harder and harder for developing countries to match production rates with the population growth rates.

Poverty and hunger more often than not go hand in hand. Poor people just do not have the resources such as tools, money, land and even physical energy  to combat hunger.

World hunger itself causes roughly 146 million children to be underweight while one in three children in a developing country have their growth stunted. Approximately 66 million primary school age children go hungry every day and between 2 to 3.5 billion people have micronutrient deficiencies. Over nine million people die worldwide from hunger and malnutrition. Five million of those people are children.

In the world right now there is enough food to feed every human being on the planet. Yet according to globalissues.org, concernusa.org and many other organizations and sources, a shocking amount of food is wasted in first-world countries and even in third-world countries.

Drusilla Gibbs

Sources: Concern USA, Freedom from Hunger, WFP, Global Issues
Photo: Flickr

global_Population
New U.N. projections show that the Earth’s population will reach 11.2 billion by 2100.

The world’s current population is approximately 7.3 billion, a growth of one billion people in the past 12 years. While Earth’s population is still increasing, it is doing so at a slower rate nowadays.

The global population used to grow by around 1.24 percent each year, but that number has now decreased to 1.18 percent, an annual addition of around 83 million people.

Still, Earth is expected to hit its estimated population by the end of the century primarily due to declining child mortality rates and increased life expectancy.

The greatest increases are expected in Africa and Asia. Specifically, Africa will see the greatest surge in population, with more than half of the expected growth occurring there. The continent is expected to have a population of 1.3 billion by 2050.

Asia, on the other hand, is predicted to add one billion people to the global population. Additionally, India is expected to top China as the most populous country within the next seven years.

The majority of the burden will be placed on the poorest and least developed areas, making it hard to achieve equality.

These places include the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Niger, Somalia and Uganda.

With the global population seeing such increases, and the majority of increases coming in the poorest areas, the greatest impacts will be seen on the environment, economy and health.

To help cope with the expected surge in global population, there is a worldwide need for birth control, as well as better care for the aging population.

Not only does birth control help stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, but according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, it prevents almost two million unintended pregnancies in the U.S. every year.

Estimates also show that every $1 spent in family planning funded by the public saves $4 on Medicaid expenses that would be needed for pregnancy care.

Elderly people will soon make up a larger percentage of the world’s population, according to the World Health Organization. With developing countries seeing higher life expectancies, reports indicate that elderly people will soon make up 16 percent of the world’s population.

In fact, it’s estimated that that the number of elderly people on Earth will be higher than the number of infants by 2020.

The biggest threats when it comes to the elderly are chronic and preventable diseases. Moving forward, the goal is to reduce the severity of illnesses such as cancer and diabetes. In doing so, the older population will be able to remain healthy and mobile for a longer period of time.

Accomplishing this goal will also take pressure off the world’s infrastructure that is impacted by the aging population, such as facilities that deal with healthcare and long-term living.

Matt Wotus

Sources: Healthline News, United Nations
Photo: Tech Times

How Their 1979 Revolution Brought Iran Into Poverty-TBP
Revolutions spin nations into a whirlwind of anxiousness, confusion and, often economic changes. The changes that ensued after the 1979 Iranian Revolution sent the nation into economic troubles for a multitude of reasons.

After the revolution, the new government federalized businesses, which has ended up further hurting the economy. With the new sanctions and laws regarding the businesses, families have experienced a more difficult time to provide for themselves.

To add to the shift in government and adjusting to the new laws, a baby boom occurred in Iran following the 1979 revolution. Following the revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini asked women of the new Iran to have a substantial amount of babies that could one day protect their nation and faith.

After his call for children, the population came close to doubling from 34 million citizens to 62 million, according to The United States Institute of Peace: The Iran Primer.

With such a drastic jump in population, the Islamic Republic soon came to realize that they could not “feed, clothe, house, educate and eventually employ the growing numbers.” Without the ability, space or resources necessary, many families fell into poverty at a significant rate.

As more families sought refuge and aid in any form available, the option of terrorism became more tempting. Not because they desired terroristic actions, but often terrorist groups will travel through impoverished areas promising to pay considerable amounts to those who join their groups.

When in desperate need of money to care for one’s family, the willingness to join radical alternatives becomes a considerable option. With the insecurity of families and nations placed upon them, the feeling of hopelessness only grows.

However, after the dramatic increase in population, a progressive family planning program was enacted in an attempt to slow the population growth and allow the government to provide for those already born.

The program was advanced, especially for the time. Billboards went up across the nation encouraging smaller family sizes, volunteers were sent door-to-door to advocate for why fewer children were the better option, family planning classes were required before marriage and health centers began distributing free birth control and condoms all in an effort to slow the birth rate and end the baby boom.

With the new program in place, birth rates soon began to decline at what was a comforting rate. In 1988, women were averaging 5.5 births. By 2006, the average had decreased to 1.9 births per woman, and was continuing to drop.

Though the birth rate had declined like intended, with the continually dropping rate, a new concern arose. There was now an exceedingly large generation of baby boomers being followed by a generation that would not even replace their parents.

The abrupt decline in births has, and still is, causing problems regarding their ability to support the immense aging population.

With this vast difference of situations and problems, the Iranian government and population is continuing to feel a struggle in the prolonged wake of the 1979 revolution.

Between the excessive number of babies and then the sudden drop in births, the population fluctuation is one of Iran’s numerous economic issues that they as a nation and separate communities are having to deal with.

– Katherine Wyant

Sources: Iran Primer, International Affairs Review, Iran Primer
Photo: Iran News Update