FRI-SAT-SUN
February 25-27, 2000
volume 11, no. 40
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NEWS & VIEWS     Acknowledgments
Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

US CLAIMS OVERPOPULATION COMING

    WASHINGTON, DC (CWNews.com) - The US Commerce Department warned in January that the country's population is expected to balloon from 275 million to half a billion by the end of the century, but the Population Research Institute (PRI), in a new report, disputes the reasoning and finds politics at the root of the claim.

    PRI points out that immediately after President Bill Clinton pledged millions for population control in the US on January 8, the Commerce Department issued its warnings of overpopulation, claiming the US would have 571 million people by 2100. Among the warnings was that a majority would come from immigrants and their children.

    The warnings also came as candidates in the US presidential race warned of the consequences of increasing population, including more "suburban sprawl," transportation problems, pollution, and urban crowding.

    PRI counters in its new report that any population outlook of more than a few years is questionable. "How can one predict the fertility behavior of people who haven't even been born yet? Who knows what the birth rate will be in 2060, or how many immigrants will arrive in the US in 2080?" the group said.

    The pro-family group counters with US Census Bureau projections and UN Population Division figures that predict a declining US population over the next century. Other critics of the overpopulation scare say economic predictions show there are too few workers for open jobs now, a situation that will worsen in the coming decade, possibly causing a rise in inflation as wage pressures push up costs.

    "Family planning promoters have always played fast and loose with the numbers," says PRI. "In 1974 they projected that the world would have a population of 6.5 billion by this year, a round 500 million too high. They projected that the world's population would reach 12 billion by 2075, almost 5 billion higher than what the UNPD now expects."

    PRI concludes, asking: "Did the Commerce Department attempt to use the specter of overpopulation ... to frighten Americans into supporting the President's proposed increase in domestic family planning spending?"

          

February 25-27, 2000
volume 11, no. 40
NEWS & VIEWS

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