This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Wadsworth Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 11th (copyright 2012, although it actually came out in 2011), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news. Note that the 12th edition is currently in production and will be out in 2015.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Downside of High Fertility in Gaza

Yesterday I noted that the President of Chile was calling for a rise in his country's birth rate. Yasser Arafat famously asked Palestinian women to bear as many children as possible, and BBC News has chronicled a very sad side effect of the high fertility among women in Gaza (where the TFR is nearly 6 children per woman). Unemployment is very high and this leads to the exploitation of children, who are willing to work for substantially lower wages than adults. The economy of Gaza has been decimated by the blockades established by Israel and Egypt in response to the increased militancy and violence in Gaza, but you can see the vicious circle that embraces this population--too many children and too few jobs leads to frustration and desperation. Note that the BBC does not implicate the high birth rate in its story, but everything about the story is related to demography.

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