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 (which came out in December 2010), 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.
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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.