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close this bookMeeting Basic Learning Needs: A Vision for the 1990s (UNICEF - UNDP - UNESCO - WB - WCEFA, 1990, 170 p.)
close this folder1. Global Challenges and Human Development
close this folderB. The Global Challenges
View the document(i) Economic stagnation and decline
View the document(ii) Economic disparities
View the document(iii) Marginalized populations
View the document(iv) Environmental degradation
View the document(v) Rapid population growth

(v) Rapid population growth

Population growth continues to exacerbate economic, social, and environmental problems, particularly in the poorest parts of the world. In 1987, the world population exceeded the 5 billion mark, an increase of 1 billion in less than fifteen years. Ninety percent of this growth took place in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and most of it was in the countries least able to care for or utilize the additional population effectively. The harsh reality of absolute poverty, with its guarantee of high infant mortality and a precarious livelihood for the sick and the aged, encourages high rates of reproduction that further entrench a lifestyle of poverty among the growing numbers of the poor. Demographic trends in industrial countries follow a different aggregate pattern, but even there the more disadvantaged groups are growing at a higher rate than the population as a whole.