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As Demand for Food Explodes, Family Planning Critical

Population growth is a driver of the long-term demand for food. Investing in education for girls and helping women prevent unwanted pregnancies can help keep demand sustainable.

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Demographic Security and the CIA

CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden recently identified population growth as one of three top destabilizing trends currently facing the world.

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In Focus: China Considers Ending One-Child Policy

Late last week Chinese family planning officials made headlines by indicating that Beijing might consider relaxing its thirty-year-old mandatory one-child policy. China’s family planning policies are notable not only for being baldly coercive but also for being the excuse the Bush administration offers for defunding the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

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Demography Is Not Destiny

Demographic trends can interact with other factors such as poverty, poor governance, competition for natural resources, and environmental degradation to exacerbate tensions and contribute to conflict. But demography is not destiny, and family planning and reproductive health can play an important role in preventing and reducing instability.

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