USAID Unleashes More Population Control

Steven Mosher
PRI Weekly Briefing
8 April 2004
Vol. 6 / No. 14
Reproduced with Permission

Even though the rate of world population growth is in rapid decline, and mortality rates throughout the developing world are at an all-time high, USAID's contribution to a new report on global population is this: send more family planning.

The rate of the world's overall population growth peaked in 1989-90, with the world's population growing by 87 million people, then began to decline. In 2002, the world's overall population grew by 74 million, 13 million less than the peak year. It is expected that this slowdown in the world's overall population growth will continue into the foreseeable future.1

According to a new report by the U.S. Census Bureau, "The slowdown in the growth of the world's population can be traced primarily to declines in fertility." In 2002, the bureau points out, "the world's women, on average, were giving birth to 2.6 children over their lifetime,"2 or roughly half of the world's total fertility rate in 1950.3

Alarmingly, the bureau predicts that the level of fertility for the world as a whole will drop below replacement level by 2050.4

The report notes that the HIV/AIDS pandemic has contributed to the decline in world's population growth. Twenty million people worldwide have died of AIDS. "Barring some major breakthrough," the forty million people worldwide who are now living with HIV are expected to die within the next 10 years. Over 30 percent of all children born to HIV infected mothers in Sub-Saharan Africa will be HIV positive.5 High rates of mortality, combined with lower levels of fertility, will lower the average life expectancy at birth to around 30 years by 2010, a level not seen since the beginning of the 20th century.

Despite this coming demise of the human species, the bureau claims that over 100 million women in the world today have an "unmet need" for contraception.6 How can the U.S. Census Bureau make this claim, given the greater unmet need for HIV/AIDS prevention and basic life-saving aid? The answer to this is that the Bureau for Global Health of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has contributed largely to this report, one quarter of which includes an assessment of contraceptive prevalence in the developing world.

Many developed countries in the world today are already facing severe economic and societal challenges because of under-population. And many developing nations will likely never develop before absolute population decline strikes hard, due to pressures to increase contraceptive use and lower fertility in the face of record-high mortality rates. By 2050, the bureau predicts, the global fertility rate will be below replacement.7

When this happens, population collapse is imminent. Social and economic collapse will follow.

As birth rates fall into the cellar, it's important for the U.S. government to stop spending hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars each year on programs designed to lower the number of babies born even further. The U.S. government must abandon its thirty-year effort to contracept and sterilize the world. USAID's Office of Population must be shut down. And all population monies must be shifted to pro-natal programs. Otherwise the looming threat of global depopulation will become a devastating reality.

It's time for the population control movement to call off the dogs. The population explosion it predicted never happened. The anti-natalists should pack up their tents and go home.


1 U.S. Census Bureau, "Global Population Profile: 2002," March 2004. [Back]

2 Ibid. [Back]

3 U.N. Population Division, World Population Prospects, The 2000 Revision. [Back]

4 U.S. Census Bureau. [Back]

5 Ibid. [Back]

6 Ibid. [Back]

7 Ibid. [Back]