This publication brings together the shared international experience of demographers and social scientists with activists in the field of population and poverty. While the scope of the publication is global, Indian issues are given prime importance.
Two hundred years ago in 1798 an Anglican clergyman, Robert Malthus, published an anonymous article, which for the first time, in a scientific manner, linked the problem of poverty to the question of population growth. The rapid growth of population, he argued, would eventually lead to serious increases in death rates due to the inability to provide food for everyone. Malthus assumed that, while food production could increase at an arithmetic progression, populations would grow at a geometric progression.
The population of the world has burgeoned from around an estimated 900 million from the time of Malthus at the end of the eighteenth century to an estimated 6 billion at the end of the 20th century. The estimated population of India itself has crossed the 1 billion mark in 1999. assertion that population growth is the cause of poverty is an oversimplification, since population problems are often the consequence of poverty and the interrelationship is always complex, particularly in the light of globalization.
While the scope of the publication if global, including papers on Europe, Africa and Latin America, and relating to problems raised at the 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development, Indian issues are given prime importance.
Apart from technical papers regarding the present burning demographic issues of growth and migration, concepts of poverty are clarified. Descriptive papers and case studies attempt to bridge the gap between theory and practice. The debate on population issues is carried beyond mere development considerations to the new paradigms of â€śrightsâ€ť and ethical concerns. The editors confidently hope that his publication will serve to clarify and reinforce the processes of human and integral development.