UNFPA Mis-states World Population
For Immediate Release
September 23, 1999
Contact Scott Weinberg
WASHINGTON, DC – Steven W. Mosher, President of the Population Research Institute (PRI), today criticized the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) for releasing a “statistically misleading” report “designed to generate fear of an overpopulation crisis that simply does not exist.”
The UNFPA report, entitled “The State of the World Population 1999” warns in apocalyptic terms that the population has doubled since 1960, that there are now “many more women of childbearing age,” and that “global population is still rising by about 78 million a year.”
“What the UNFPA report fails to stress is that fertility rates are everywhere falling,” Mosher said. “Women around the world are now averaging only about two and a half children, only slightly above the replacement level. According to the UN Population Division’s own “low variant” projection (which has historically proven the most accurate), world population will peak in about 2040 at 7 plus billion people, and then begin to decline. Humanity’s long-term problem is not too many people, but too few people.”
The UNFPA attempts to minimize the problem of depopulation. It claims that there are only “61 countries, with about 44 per cent of the world’s population, [in which] couples are having fewer children than the two they need to ‘replace’ themselves.” But the UN Population Division has reported that, by the end of the this year, there will be between 67 and 83 countries with fertility rates of 2.1 or below, representing more than half of the world’s population.
“The depopulation problem is actually worse than these figures indicate,” says Mosher. “High infant and child mortality rates in many developing countries mean that couples must average two-and-a-half children in order to have two children reach adulthood. This means that, at present, something between 86 and 97 countries are at or below real replacement fertility.”
“As far as the doubling of the world’s population since 1960,” says Mosher, “a significant part of this increase has come from lengthening life spans. We have added 10 years to the life span of every person on the planet. Naturally this means that there are more of us around at any one time. This is a fact to celebrate, not to bemoan.”
The UNFPA’s solution to this “contrived crisis” is more population control. “Simply distributing condoms, ‘morning after’ pills, and manual vacuum aspirators in the developing world does nothing to promote economic development,” says Mosher. “The result is not reproductive freedom but human rights abuses committed in the name of ‘family planning.’ History has shown that economic development and social advancement is the best contraceptive and the means of achieving true reproductive freedom.”
“It is appalling that a UN agency, heavily funded with taxpayer dollars, would attempt to capitalize on the joyous event of the birth of the world’s six billionth person to market more population control programs in the developing world,” Mosher said.
(Please see: “The Facts of Global Depopulation PRI, and “We’re Expecting!” PRI)