Population Policy

Prof. Dr Moustafa El-abdallah Al Kafry
2022 / 8 / 2

Plato determines the optimal population in each city so that the good is available to every citizen. It therefore advocates a narrow population policy aimed at reducing the growing population to the optimal number. Aristotle also advocates the need to determine the population in order to avoid poverty. In his view, increasing the population at a greater rate than the rate of increase in exploited land led to social differences and hindered the Government from doing its work, but the criticism of aristotle and Plato s theory was their focus on the quantitative aspect of population growth. They have given significant importance to factors that raise´-or-limit population growth. They neglected the factors leading to the development of human resources.
Each State has a specific policy of regulating the demographic behaviour of its population present and future, including a set of actions, schemes and programmes aimed at influencing population variables and the structural composition of the population in quantitative and qualitative terms, to suit the needs of society, its growth requirements and the well-being of its citizens. Population policy not only addresss the problem of rapid population growth but also includes programmes to stimulate population growth in some countries, regulate population migration and movement, balanced spatial distribution of the population, organize the movement and distribution of the labour force, women s contribution to economic activity and social empowerment. The policy also aims to improve the standard of living and well-being of the population and to narrow the cultural gap between the countryside and the city and all matters relating to demographic behaviour in general.
We can define population policy as the State s policy of regulating the demographic behaviour of its population now and in the future. A State s population policy includes a set of actions, plans and programmes aimed at influencing population variables and the structural composition of the population in quantity and quantity, to suit the needs of society, its growth requirements and the well-being of its citizens. Population variables are all about population size, growth, distribution, composition and characteristics. In this sense, population policy includes not only the problem of high population growth, but also programmes to stimulate population growth in some countries, population migration and movement, balanced spatial distribution of the population, the organization of the movement and distribution of the labour force, women s contribution to economic activity and social empowerment, improving the standard of living and well-being of the population and narrowing the cultural gap between the countryside and the city and all matters relating to demographic behaviour in general.
Global population policies date back to the World Population Action Plan adopted by the First World Population Conference in Bucharest, Romania, in 1974 and the United Nations-sponsored Population and Global Development Conferences in Mexico City in 1984, most recently in Cairo in 1994. Within the framework of these conferences, population policy has been defined as encompassing all policies and programmes, including social and economic, relating to key population variables: births, mortality, fertility, internal and external migration and the geographical distribution of the population.
Each state must have a clear, specific and coherent population policy. It is necessary to integrate population policy into the overall development agenda, so that attention is paid to each sector, through the effects of population alterations not in terms of whether they constitute an obstacle to overall development´-or-not, but as an indicator of human force planning. The interdependence of population policies and overall development requires strengthening and developing development policies to enhance society s ability to absorb current and expected births in society, particularly in developing country societies characterized by high annual population growth. This, in turn, creates economic and social conditions that encourage the transition to a smaller family.
Population policies have three main components:
The Government s position on population variables, population size and rate of growth, age structure, geographical distribution of population and demographic components of fertility (reproduction) consisting of births, deaths and migration. Each of these variables resides as an important issue in population policy and is its prevailing level´-or-change rate perceived as high, low´-or-acceptable in relation to other social and economic conditions.
The Government s objectives towards population variables. Is the goal to increase´-or-reduce the variable level´-or-growth rate´-or-maintain its current level.
Government intervention policies to influence each population variable. Does the Government intervene effectively to influence population variables ?
Economic and social policy is expected to lead to many changes in the demographic indicators expected in the foreseeable future, particularly on the subject of geographical distribution of the population, the distribution of the labour force among different economic sectors and the anticipated development in education, particularly female education, will inevitably lead to a reduction in fertility rates, which in turn will lead to a reduction in the annual rate of population growth. This shows us that population policy must be in tune with the economic and social policy of any society.
Interest in the population issue began in most developing countries, including The Arab countries, at the end of the 1970s and early 1980s. Arab governments have worked to address the population problem by linking demographic variables to economic and social developments and making the population factor an integral part of the overall development process.
Prof. Dr. Mustafa Al-Abdullah Al-Kufri
Faculty of Economics - Damascus University




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